Ethanol fixation of bladder irrigation specimens for flow cytometric analysis. A multiinstitutional study from the bladder cancer flow cytometry network

Dane K. Hermansen, Myron R. Melamed, John S. Coon, Ronald S. Weinstein, Ralph Devere White, Arllne D. Deitch, Leon L. Wheeless, Jay E. Reeder, Robert Wersto, Leopold G. Koss

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16 Scopus citations


Ethanol preservation of voided and catheterized urine has long been the standard for urinary cytologic study. In this report ethanol preservation of bladder irrigation specimens was evaluated for flow cytometric analysis in a multiinstitutional study requiring specimen transport. Specimens from ten patients obtained at one center were preserved for varying periods of time in 50% ethanol, then distributed by express mail to four other participating centers, up to 3000 miles distant. On receipt, from 1 to 3 weeks after collection, the samples were processed and examined by flow cytometric study using propidium iodide as the fluorochrome. Forty‐six of the 50 (92%) analyzed specimens gave satisfactory histograms. In 41 of the 46 adequate samples (89%), an aneuploid peak in the alcohol preserved (propidium iodide stained) specimen correlated well with the fresh (acridine orange stained) specimen. However, there was variable loss of DNA stainability with a broadening of the coefficient of variation in some alcohol‐preserved specimens and an increase in cellular debris so that measurements of DNA index and percent hyperdiploid cells were considered unreliable. The authors conclude that ethanol preservation of bladder irrigation specimens for short periods of time may be a feasible alternative when flow cytometric analysis cannot be carried out on fresh specimens, but that this is not optimal fixation for specimens that must be transported and further studies of other fixatives are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1783
Number of pages4
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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