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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 208-212

Histologic reliability of tissues from embalmed cadavers: Can they be useful in medical education?

1 College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed Madadin
Department of Pathology, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 34212
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_383_19

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Background: Current trends in medical curricula are shifting from teaching histology and pathology as stand-alone disciplines. Therefore, it would be useful to examine the potential value of integrating these into the anatomical dissection experience. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the histologic reliability of tissues taken from embalmed cadavers in an anatomy laboratory. Materials and Methods: A total of 112 tissue samples were obtained using standard autopsy techniques from various organs (heart, lung, thyroid, skeletal muscle, bone and skin) of 11 cadavers available at the anatomy laboratory of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, in 2019. Samples were prepared using the standard paraffin procedure followed by cutting sections at 4-μm thickness and staining with standard hematoxylin and eosin stain. Using predefined criteria, the quality of the samples was evaluated by two board-certified histopathologists and each slide was categorized as good, satisfactory or poor. Results: Overall, 34.2% and 60.3% of the slides were of good and satisfactory quality, respectively. A significant difference in tissue quality was found between various organs. Thick skin and bone tissues had the highest “good” rating (84.6% and 81.8%, respectively), while thyroid and lung tissues had the highest “poor” rating (20% and 13.6%, respectively). Conclusion: Most of the tissues acquired from the embalmed cadavers were of good or satisfactory quality, thereby indicating the beneficial use of histological tissue from cadavers for educational purposes. Future research into how these findings translate into meaningful medical education would be beneficial.

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