MBBS I Histology Revision Sheet For the practical identifications of tissues, the standard and style of the questions

will be similar to those set out all year as quizzes during class. The questions have, generally, two components; firstly, identifying the specimen correctly and giving identifying characteristics, and secondly, answering some question about the function of the tissue/organ. Here is a list of things to help you identify a specimen correctly and answer the questions. More detailed instructions follow. 1. Read the questions carefully. Know what is being asked. Correctly identify slides A and B and don’t get them confused. 2. Pick the slide up and look at it with the unassisted eye. The majority of specimens can be correctly identified this way without even needing a microscope. Assess colour, shape and size, as these parameters can limit your choice for identification. Narrow your choices. 3. Scan the ENTIRE slide under low magnification. Ensure your condenser lens is open, your light is bright enough, and that you place the slide onto the stage the correct way up, coverslip on top. If there are two differently stained sections of the same specimen on the slide, examine both of them. Decide what it is. 4. Use higher magnification to confirm your choice if necessary. Using high magnification will not help you identify a tissue if you don’t know what it is under low magnification. However, it can confirm your choice by showing you identifying characteristics more clearly eg Hassall’s corpuscles in the thymus. 5. Answer the questions. Make sure you READ the questions, particularly the functional ones. If asked for cell types, give cell types. If asked for hormones, give hormones. Be as specific as possible. The question may ask for a specific stage or structure. If given the breast, say whether it is prepubertal, resting mature, pregnant or lactating. Similarly, say the stage for endometrium, and the specific region of the stomach/ small intestine. 6. Terminology: Try to use the current internationally accepted terminology for naming structures. Using eponyms means risking your marker not determining exactly what you mean, or not finding out whether it is an alternative term that is acceptable. (However, we do try, and similarly, we do try to work out spelling, and whether or not A and B have been accidently confused). Please write legibly (This really assists your marker, especially after they have marked several thousand questions and it’s 3.00am). Identifying Characteristics Not that hard. (a) Pick features that are found in that tissue alone. Examples: Hassall’s corpuscles in the thymus, Brunner’s glands in the duodenum. Or, (b) Pick features that allow you to identify the system, Examples: wall structure in GIT (mucosa, muscularis mucosae, submucosa, muscularis propria, adventitia/serosa) And combine these with some description. Example: the stomach has a muscularis propria with three layers of muscle. (Just saying that the stomach has a muscularis propria isn’t good enough for a single characteristic as many things have a muscularis propria,) So three good characteristics for the stomach would be: 1. Secretory type columnar epithelium 2. A muscularis propria with three layers of muscle 3. A distinct muscularis mucosae To further identify the portion of the stomach, look at the mucosa and decide whether it is the cardia, the fundus or the pylorus as the epithelium differs between the three.

then Mucosal Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GIT. columnar. heart (yeah. The strip can either be a hollow thing opened out and laid flat or something naturally flattened. stereocilia etc). Naming a specific type of cell is much better. urethra. eg liver. ‘Is highly vascular’ is ok as some tissues (cardiac muscle for example) are characteristically highly vascular. then give the name of the organ. and ‘is avascular’ is even better. whatever you see that allows you to identify the structure is ok as a characteristic. Because nuclei are generally small when compared to the remainder of the tissue. epiglottis with a central core of tissue lined by epithelium on both sides. The hollow circle/ovals are an organ with a lumen. squamous. Similarly. Exceptions generally are tissues with large accumulations of lymphocytes (and other WBCs) where the nuclei are closely packed together and prominent. If the question asks what organ is this. virtually every blood vessel has three layers to its wall. ok. A bright pink slide should suggest muscle or connective tissue in some variety. If the questions asks “what is this tissue?’ then it is asking ‘is it muscle (and what type). (e) Don’t just give the layers of the wall. ductus deferens. eg opened aorta or stretched bladder. pancreas. Looking at Size: Remember that some of these specimens come from foetal material or from animals. or a tissue with fewer nuclei (necrotic) or more collagen (fibrous) is pinker than normal). (d) Don’t say ‘has blood vessels’ as virtually everything does. for epithelium. but with very thick walls). potentially reproductive). Therefore. . Basically. “muscle – smooth/involuntary”. a strip. Solid chunk is from a solid organ. So an appropriate answer might be. cuboidal. Looking at Shape: You basically have four choices here – solid chunk. ‘Has lamina propria” is no good as lots of things have lamina propria. circulatory system or ureter. Hence. Use proportions more to guide you. (f) And. where a tissue in inflammation is bluer than normal. which is good. or a smear. most tissues appear pinkish to the unassisted eye. epithelia (and what type) or nervous (and. kidney. as only cartilage and cornea are basically avascular. Use the type of epithelium and the layers of the wall to help you. nervous tissue. brain. ‘Has lamina propria containing Peyer’s patches/Brunner’s glands/ other feature’ is fantastic. (Note that this hold true in pathology as well. Similarly. In these cases. Now more detailed instructions for identification… Assessing Colour: Most specimens are stained with H&E (exceptions are some blood vessels. and blood and bone marrow aspirate smears). they are blood or bone marrow aspirates.(c) Don’t say ‘has cells’ because everything has cells. be specific about what type it is. microvilli. read the question carefully. so matching the size with that of an adult human is not necessarily a good idea. At the very least say simple or stratified. but saying that the media has lots of elastin identifies the vessel as an elastic artery. A slide that looks blue in part or in whole to the unassisted eye should immediately make you think of the lymphoid organs (thymus. hollow circle/oval. again. cilia. (spleen). acidic structures are blue (eg DNA in nuclei) and basic structures are pink/orange (eg cytoplasm). or. Check for ‘sandwich organs’ eg palate. if the blue is patchy. uterine tube. what type). examine the epithelium lining the lumen and the structure of the wall. parts of the immune system with lots of lymphocytes are blue in colour. respiratory. The smears are easy. lymph node. not totally solid. connective tissue (and what type). Each system has unique features. eg GIT. respiratory. and then mention any surface modifications (keratin.

4. Look with the unassisted eye. Prostate and breast Check for sperm and corpora amylacea in the prostate.Tissues that can be confused and hints for alleviating confusion: 1. Unless pathology is present. you’ll have to learn what the organ does. There are several other tissues that can be confused. 6. The vagina has large numbers of lymphocytes in the lamina propria. Skin doesn’t have one. there is likely to be more emphasis on correctly identifying various constituents or structures within an organ. well. but on those photographs. with finger-like fimbriae. uncoiled tube. Remember to examine the whole slide/photograph with the naked eye and with low magnification and answer the questions that are asked. Peyer’s patches. keratin is not normally found in the oesophagus or the vagina. and remember that the seminal vesicle is a single. Examine the wall structure compared to the basic plans for each system. Anterior Tongue and tonsil Check for taste buds. highly coiled tube. The epithelium is the same on both tissues. transitional. A tonsil will have lymphoid aggregates under epithelium that is highly crypted. Good Luck! . stratified squamous. The oesophagus has glands in the lamina propria. Remember the posterior tongue IS lingual tonsil. the prostate doesn’t. the section looks like it has compartments) whereas the ampulla is a single. the vagina does not. Vagina/oesophagus/skin Check for keratinisation. Check for a cervix. 2. 5. the breast has neither. 7. three layers in the muscularis propria. (therefore. 3. urethra and ductus deferens Examine the shape of the lumen. the presence of lots of striated muscle and salivary glands in the tongue. The breast has adipose. About the functional parts of the question. Various blood vessels. cuboidal etc etc. The prostatic epithelium can also be confused with seminal vesicles and ampulla of the uterine tube. I have no explanation for this one. Then look for things like Brunner’s glands. Check for a muscularis propria. but these are examples that have been commonly seen in exams. The best approach is to have a system and be methodical. Cardiac muscle and testis. the ureter. The written exams should be approached in a similar manner. or taenia coli to confirm your choice. Various parts of the GIT Examine the epithelium initially. Seminal vesicles and ampulla of uterine tube Check the epithelial lining and remember that the walls of the uterine tube are highly vascular. Is it open or folded? Examine the epithelium – endothelium.

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