The H&E Stain: Far From Routine Part 1

[Editor’s note:  Segments of following blog are taken directly from an original article “The H&E Stain: Far from Routine” published by the author in Advance for Medical Professionals in April 2002.] What exactly is a routine “H&E”?  And what makes it routine?  The first question is easy.  “H” stands for ”hematoxylin” and “E” stands for …

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Silver Stains

In the histology world, the mere mention of a “silver stain” may be the cause of panic and uncertainty with regard to the performance of the stain, and the quality of the final resulting microscope slide.  All other special stains, with few exceptions, are relatively easy and straightforward to perform; not so with silver stains. …

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Stains for Microorganisms

Pas Stain on Human Hair

The staining of microorganisms in histology can be challenging. Filamentous fungi and associated conidia are more easily demonstrated as they are visible under light microscopy when stained with periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS) as in Figure 1. The diameter of fungi filaments is 5-10 microns, which is approximately the same as the diameter of a red …

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Staining Fungi

GMS Stain showing fungal hyohae

Fungi include molds, yeasts and higher fungi. All fungi are eukaryotic and have sterols but not peptidoglycan in their cell membrane. Their cell walls are composed of cellulose; the same building blocks that plants use. Fungi may produce large, reproductive mycelium, called mushrooms, which may be edible, or poisonous. Other naturally occurring fungi may infect …

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Immunohistochemistry (IHC) – Basics

Dermatopathology Immunofluorescence

There are some pathological conditions that exist that cannot be accurately diagnosed by examining hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides alone. In such cases, the pathologist may order immunohistochemical (IHC) stains to help render a diagnosis. Immunohistochemical stains are classified as either immunofluorescence (IF) or immunoperoxidase; however both make use of highly specific antibody preparations …

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Special Stains for Mucins

For fungi Skin

When staining sections for the presence of carbohydrates, the two main classes under investigation are glycogen and mucins.  Mucins include substances referred to as mucopolysaccharides, mucosubstances, glycoproteins and glycoconjugates. Mucins provide an environment that is conducive to molecular diffusion of chemicals, especially those in ionic form.  Mucin also increases the binding between cells, and may …

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