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Atlas of breast cancer early detection

Breast pathology – Cytopathology of the breast – Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) procedure – Fixation of the smears


The slides can be either wet-fixed or air-dried.
  • Wet-fixation: Place the slides immediately after preparation of the smears into a Coplin jar containing either 95% ethanol or 100% methanol. Fixation for a minimum of 15 minutes is essential. Prolonged fixation for several days or even weeks will not affect the morphology of the cells.
  • Air-drying: For rapid air-drying of the slides either wave them gently in the air or use a hair dryer. It is important to ensure the slide is completely dry before being transported to the laboratory.


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