Mast cell distribution and morphology in human nasal turbinates following decalcification

C. M. Trotter, A. S. Carney, J. A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Whole inferior nasal turbinates were used to evaluate six different fixavities followed by decalcification. H and E staining was used to assess general fixation and toluidine blue and thionin to stain mast cells metachromatically. We show that neutral buffered formalin or paraformaldehyde give the best overall fixation. Very long times (six days) are needed in TB to show maximum mast cell numbers; these numbers are never as high, nor the cells as densely stained as those in undecalcified controls. The difference in number between the two supports the hypothesis that there is more than one subset of mast cells in nasal mucosa. The more superficial mast cells have a smaller size and may be dendritic, with relatively few granules which stain faintly. Those in deeper situations are often larger, ovoid, very granular and intensely stained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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