Comparison of Immediate Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Fixation with Delayed Schaudinn's Fixation for the Demonstration of Protozoa in Stool Specimens

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  • Departments of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pathology, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, California 94611

Immediate fixation of stool specimens in polyvinyl alcohol fixative (PVA) was compared with Schaudinn's fixation delayed until the specimens were received in the laboratory, in a series of 100 consecutive positive stool specimens. More specimens were found positive following PVA fixation, and the numbers of organisms present on the slides were greater in specimens processed by this technique than after Schaudinn's fixation. It is concluded that immediate fixation results in the preservation of larger numbers of organisms in a recognizable state. The routine use of PVA fixation prior to transportation of the specimen to the laboratory is recommended.

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