Sudip Indu1, V Ramesh1, Priyanka Chakravarty Indu2, Karthikshree V Prashad1, B Premalatha1, K Ramadoss1
1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Mahatma Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Nutrition and Dietitics, Achariya Arts and Science College, Puducherry, India
Background: Xylene is used as a clearing agent in hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) staining of tissue sections in routine histopathology based diagnosis. However, the hazards associated with exposure to xylene are of concern. Numerous solutions mainly essential oils have been evaluated in the past as clearing agents, which can possibly be substituted for xylene during the routine tissue processing. Aim: The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of essential oil (cedarwood oil), as a possible replacement for xylene in H and E staining procedures. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out in the Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology. Thirty paraffin blocks of the routine biopsy specimen were retrieved from the department archives. The cedarwood oil was procured from organic and essential oil dealer in the local market. Two to three paraffin sections of four micron thickness were cut from each of the 30 paraffin blocks of processed tissue specimens, were subjected to different clearing agents: Essential oil (8% cedarwood oil) or xylene and stained with H and E stain. The stained sections were scored based on nuclear and cytoplasmic details, clarity and uniformity of staining. Results: Significant correlation was observed between cedarwood oil and xylene in terms of the three staining quality parameters assessed. Conclusions: We conclude that cedarwood oil can be an effective, eco-friendly and safe alternative to xylene as a clearing agent in the histopathological laboratory.
Keywords: Cedarwood oil, clearing, staining, xylene