Lebrun's Fixative

Ethanol, absolute 15 mL
Chloroform 15 mL
Acetic acid, glacial   15 mL
Saturate with mercuric chloride just before using (4 grams).

This solution is also known as Carnoy-Lebrun. It is a rapid fixative giving excellent nuclear preservation. Thin slices of tissue should be fixed within a few hours. After fixation, they should be transferred directly to absolute ethanol for a few changes, then processing completed. Due to the mercuric chloride content sections must be treated with the iodine-thiosulphate sequence to remove mercury pigment.

Note that mercuric chloride corrodes metals. For that reason all implements and containers coming in contact with the tissue during fixation must be made of plastic or glass until excess mercuric chloride has been removed by transferring the tissue to 70% ethanol.

The waste fixative must be safely disposed of in a manner which does not contaminate the environment.


Lillie, R.D., (1954)
Histopathological technique and practical histochemistry
Blakiston, New York, USA




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