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Construction of tissue microarrays using pre-existing slides as source of tissue when paraffin blocks are unavailable
  1. Fang-Ming Deng,
  2. Yan Zhao,
  3. Xiantian Kong,
  4. Peng Lee,
  5. Jonathan Melamed
  1. Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Melamed, Department of Pathology, New York University Langone Medical Center, 560 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA; melamj01{at}


Aim To develop and validate a technique for construction of intermediate density tissue microarray (TMA) slides based on the transfer of tissue from pre-existing routine slides provided for pathology diagnosis with validation to show preservation of morphology and antigenicity of the transferred tissue.

Methods A prostate cancer TMA was constructed using 20 cores from radical prostatectomy slides. This technique entails removal of the coverslip on each slide and reinforcement of the tissue by covering with Mount-Quick liquid mounting medium. The attached tissue with its new scaffold is ‘biopsied’ using a TMA needle (1.5 mm in diameter). The resultant biopsy disc is then transferred onto a recipient slide, with adhesion of the disc to the slide accomplished using heavy pressure. The preservation of morphology and antigenicity of this TMA is tested in comparison to a traditional TMA.

Results After immunohistochemical staining, 35 of 39 cores (89.7%) on the patch TMA were intact compared with 39 of 40 cores (97.5%) on the traditional TMA (p>0.1). Expression patterns and density of the antigens (34βE12, p63 and AMACR) on the patch TMA were almost identical to the traditional TMA.

Conclusions Patch TMA represents a viable alternative for tissue-based immunohistochemistry studies when paraffin blocks are unavailable. This may be a valuable tool for allowing the use of archival slide material for immunohistochemistry and enabling a standardised TMA platform to be used when the slides sent for review from other institutions are the only source of tissue available.


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