Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Formaldehyde exposure leads to increased risk of cancer. Recentstudies reveal that salt solution can preserve human and animal tissuesfor analysis with high quality equal to formaldehyde.Objective : To compare the effectiveness of formaldehyde and sodium chloride saltsolutions in various concentrations for preservation by quantitativemeasurement of tissue discoloration, volume and weight of human liverand brain slices.Methods : Sections of liver and brain were obtained from ten deceased subjects,and preserved in 10%, 20%, 26% sodium chloride salt solution (weight/weight) and 10% formaldehyde (volume/volume). The discoloration,volume and weight of each sample were quantitatively measured bycolorimeter on the 1st day (before the preservation process), 3rd, 7th, 14th,28th, and 56th day of the embalming.Results : All the brain samples which were preserved in 10% sodium chloride saltsolution, decomposed and only 4 samples in the 20% sodium chloridesalt solution sample group survived until the 56th day of preservation.There was no statistically significant difference on the 56th and the 1st dayof preservation between 26% sodium chloride salt solution andformaldehyde. The liver samples which were preserved in 10% and 20%sodium chloride salt solutions tended to decompose. There was astatistically significant difference between 26% sodium chloride saltsolution and formaldehyde in A (red-green) and L (lightness) color(P - value < 0.001). This means the liver slices preserved in 26% sodiumchloride salt solution showed less discoloration than those in formaldehyde.Conclusions : It is shown that 26% sodium chloride salt solution is an appropriatealternative choice for human liver and brain slice preservation, since it isa non-carcinogenic substance and shows less discoloration thanformaldehyde.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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