The performance of carbon and metallic inks, silver nitrate solution, and artists' pigments mounted in acetone was compared for marking the surface of surgical biopsy specimens. Using India ink is an unsatisfactory procedure because of slow drying, messiness, and spreading of the ink. It is concluded that use of artists' pigments has many advantages over other reagents, because of their rapid drying, resistance to tissue processing, and the ability to mark simultaneously many different planes of excision. Furthermore, the pigments are readily visible, are distinguishable from each other on microscopical examination, and the method entails little extra cost.
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