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Special Stains

There are wide varieties of special stains to demonstrate pathologic processes. They generally employee a dye or chemical which has an affinity for the particular tissue component to be demonstrated. Special Stains available include:

Stain Name Application Image
AFB identifies acid-fast bacteria AFB
Alcian Blue sulfated mucosubstance
glycoproteins
Alcian Blue
Congo Red amyloid Congo Red
Fontana melanin Fontana
Giemsa mast cells
bacteria
parasites
Giemsa
GMS fungus
bacteria
GMS
Gram gram positive bacteria
gram negative bacteria
Gram
Iron ferric iron in tissues Iron
Mucin acid mucopolysaccharides Mucin
Oil Red O fats Oil Red O
PAS glycogen
mucin
fungus
PAS
Retic reticulin fibers Retic
Trichrome muscle
cytoplasm
collagen
Trichrome
Verhoeff EVG elastic fibers Verhoeff EVG
Von Kossa calcium Von Kossa
Warthin Starry spirochetes
other microorganisms
Warthin Starry
Wright's Giemsa cellular elements in blood smears Wright's Giemsa
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