Objective : To observe and differentiate histological structures and ultrastructures by light microscope and transmission electron microscope between embalmed cadaveric spinal cord and fresh cadaveric spinal cord.
Methods : The spinal cords were dissected from seven embalmed cadavers of the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. The specimens were prepared for routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining for light microscope (LM)study. Some of the specimens were prepared to study by transmission electron microscope (TEM). Finally we observe and compare between spinal cord from embalmed cadaver and fresh cadaver. Results : By viewing with light microscope, the quality of spinal cords from embalmed cadavers are better and clearer than from fresh cadavers. Viewed by transmission electron microscope, the lipid part in the spinal cord from cadaveric embalmed tissues is degenerated but the protein part is not deformed. Conclusion : The spinal cords from cadavers which were fixed by excess formalin injection and embalmed in formalin for 1-2 years , are well-preserved for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining techniques for light microscope (LM) study in Histology. However in the EM of spinal cord sections from embalmed cadavers, the protein component was more likely withstand to formalin and embalmment procedures compared to the lipid componennt (e.g.myelin sheath, cell membrane).