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August 1965

Decalcification of Temporal Bones With Tetrasodium Edetate

Author Affiliations

From the Otologic Research Laboratory and the Division of Laboratories, Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;82(2):110-114. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00760010112009

DECALCIFICATION of bone using chelating agents has been confined to small specimens and teeth. Nikiforuk and Sreebny1 determined the optimal conditions for the demineralization of small bone specimens with organic chelating agents and used as their criterion the rate of decalcification. Optimal conditions involved concentration, pH, and temperature. The rate of decalcification increased as the concentration of the chelating agent was increased from 0.1 to 0.5 M. Above this concentration, the decalcification rate remained constant. The optimal temperature was 37 C. At higher temperatures digestion of the matrix resulted. The optimal pH ranged from 6.2 to 7.49.

The pathologist has been at a serious disadvantage in the study of the temporal bone because of the prolonged decalcification necessary. With prolonged acid decalcification, tissue stains poorly with loss of nuclear detail. Acid digests the protein matrix to varying degrees, depending on the acid used.2 Following acid decalcification, there is

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