Necrotizing effect of phenol on normal tissues and on tumors. A study on postoperative and cadaver specimens

W Lack, S Lang, G Brand
Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica 1994, 65 (3): 351-4
We investigated the necrotizing effect of a 75% alcoholic solution of phenol on normal tissue harvested during surgery (muscles, fatty or connective tissue) or post mortem (peripheral nerves, arteries, epidermal tissue, joint and epiphyseal cartilage) and on tumor tissue (60 samples freshly harvested from patients suffering from bone tumors). The necrotizing effect was measured by determining the thickness of the cell layers demonstrating nuclear pyknosis or necrosis after 2 min of phenolization in a light microscope by ocular measurements in microns. No effect could be seen in epidermal tissue and in cartilage, whereas all other normal tissues exhibited necrotic zones between 40 and 500 microns. In all the tumors except those with chondromatous tissue, necrotic zones between 40 and 1000 microns were found. No difference in extension of the necrotic zone was seen between specimens from benign and malignant tumors and tumor-simulating processes. Phenolization cannot be recommended for the treatment of chondromatous tumors.

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