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Table 7 Description of studies with an explicit comparison between perfusion and immersion fixation

From: Perfusion fixation in brain banking: a systematic review

Study Design Number of brains fixed Time for procedure Outcome Result
Perfusion Immersion Perfusion Immersion
Adickes 1997 [1] Crossover, within-brain 4 4 5–6 h 2 weeks Subjective histology quality Equal or superior tissue preservation with perfusion fixation compared with immersion fixation
Beach 1987 [7] Experimental, non-randomized 2 2 1–8 days 1–8 days Subjective histology quality More even distribution of staining in perfusion-fixed samples, while immersion fixed samples had a dense band of staining at the edges of the fixed tissue and pale regions in the interior
Grinberg 2008 [34] Experimental, non-randomized 32 4 Not reported >  3 months Subjective histology quality More uniform penetration of fixative agent into all regions of the brain in perfusion-fixed samples, including deep regions such as the thalamus and basal ganglia
Lyck 2008 [58] Experimental, non-randomized 32 5 1 day - 4 years 1 day - 10 years Long-term immunostaining Better preservation of sensitive antigens (e.g., NeuN and CNPase) in perfusion-fixed specimens
Sharma 2006 [79] Experimental, randomized selection of brain tissue 36 36 1–4 days 3–4 weeks Subjective histology quality No significant difference in staining quality between perfusion and immersion fixation
  1. Note that “histology quality” refers to visual microscopy results, including slides that have been stained with dyes as well as with antibody staining. Regarding the time for the procedure, note that in Beach et al. [7], the tissue was sliced into 1 cm-thick blocks prior to the postfixation or initial immersion fixation. In Lyck et al. [58], the time reported includes the time for long-term storage in fixative beyond the initial fixation procedure