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Carnoy's solution

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Title: Carnoy's solution  
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Subject: Pathology, Medical terminology
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Carnoy's solution

Carnoy's solution is a fixative composed of 60% ethanol, 30% chloroform and 10% glacial acetic acid.[1]

Carnoy's Solution is composed of:[2]

This is the same proportion by volume as the previous formula, with the addition of ferric chloride.


Some of the uses of Carnoy's solution are:

  • Enhancing lymph node detection during dissection of cadavers.[3]
  • Immunohistochemical fixation and detection of NMDA receptors within the murine hippocampus.[4]
  • Applied directly following enucleation for the treatment of keratocystic odontogenic tumors.[5][6][7]
  • Direct application following enucleation (Cuba) for certain kinds of unicystic ameloblastomas.[8] This appears to decrease the likelihood of recurrence over enucleation alone.[9] Protein coagulation is thought to limit uptake of these toxic materials by surrounding tissues, however it is this fact that limits its usefulness as a treatment agent in general.[2]
  • As a fixative for pap smear samples.[10]
  • As a fixative agent for both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in various tissues.[11]
  • As a fixative agent to preserve mucus, useful for tissue preparation before staining with periodic acid-Schiff base.[12]


  1. ^ "MSDS :: Carnoy's Solution (Fixative)". Retrieved 13 Jan 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Marx, Robert E.; Stern, Diane (2003). Oral and maxillofacial pathology: a rationale for diagnosis and treatment. Chicago: Quintessence. p. 684.  
  3. ^ Luz DA, Ribeiro U, Chassot C, Collet E Silva Fde S, Cecconello I, Corbett CE (December 2008). "Carnoy's solution enhances lymph node detection: an anatomical dissection study in cadavers". Histopathology 53 (6): 740–2.  
  4. ^ Yoneyama M, Kitayama T, Taniura H, Yoneda Y (August 2003). "Immersion fixation with Carnoy solution for conventional immunohistochemical detection of particular N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits in murine hippocampus". J. Neurosci. Res. 73 (3): 416–26.  
  5. ^ Madras J, Lapointe H (March 2008). "Keratocystic odontogenic tumour: reclassification of the odontogenic keratocyst from cyst to tumour". J Can Dent Assoc 74 (2): 165–165h.  
  6. ^ "Odontogenic Keratocyst: The Northwestern USA Experience". Retrieved 14 Jan 2009. 
  7. ^ "Use of Carnoy's Solution in management of odontogenic keratocysts". Retrieved 14 Jan 2009. 
  8. ^ Lee PK, Samman N, Ng IO (April 2004). "Unicystic ameloblastoma--use of Carnoy's solution after enucleation". Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 33 (3): 263–7.  
  9. ^ Lau SL, Samman N (August 2006). "Recurrence related to treatment modalities of unicystic ameloblastoma: a systematic review". Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 35 (8): 681–90.  
  10. ^ Shamsi M, Abdali K, Montazer NR, Kumar PV, Tabatabaee HR (2008). "Comparison of Carnoy's solution and 96% ethyl alcohol fixation in bloody Pap smears". Acta Cytol. 52 (2): 187–90.  
  11. ^ Miething F, Hering S, Hanschke B, Dressler J (March 2006). "Effect of fixation to the degradation of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA in different tissues". J. Histochem. Cytochem. 54 (3): 371–4.  
  12. ^ "Stains File: Carnoy's Fluid". Retrieved 25 Oct 2009. 
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