Special Staining Results

Microorganisms

Gram

  • Gram-positive organisms—blue to blue-violet
  • Gram negative organisms—red
  • Background—yellow

Back

Giemsa

  • Bacteria—blue
  • Nuclei—blue
  • Cytoplasm—pale blue
  • Rickettsias—reddish purple
  • Erythrocytes—yellowish pink

Back

Ziehl-Neelsen

  • Acid-fast bacteria—bright red
  • Other tissue elements—according to counterstain (blue or yellow)

Back

Fites

  • Atypical mycobacteria—bright red
  • Other tissue elements—blue

Back

Warthin Starry

  • Bacteria (spirochetes, helicobacter)—black
  • Background—pale yellow to tan

Back

Steiner

  • Bacteria (spirochetes, legionella)—black
  • Background—pale yellow

Back

Gimenez

  • Chlamydia—red
  • Background—green

Back

PAS (Periodic Acid-Schiff's)

  • Simple polysaccharides, neutral mucosubstances, basement membranes, mucolipids and fungus—magenta
  • Background—according to counterstain

Back

GMS (Grocott Methenamine-Silver)

  • Fungi—sharply delineated in black
  • Pneumocystis—black
  • Mucin—dark gray to black
  • Background—green

Back

Connective Tissue

Wilder's Reticulum

  • Reticulum fibers—black
  • Background—pale pink

Back

Gordon-Sweet

  • Reticulin—black
  • Background—according to counterstain

Back

Masson's Trichrome

  • Nuclei—black
  • Cytoplasm, muscle, keratin—red
  • Collagen—according to counterstain (blue or green)

Back

Jones'

  • Reticular fibers and basement membranes—black
  • Other tissue elements—according to counterstain

Back

PTAH

  • Nuclei—blue
  • Cytoplasm—blue
  • Collagen—brown-pink
  • Fibrin—blue
  • Elastic fibers—purple
  • Striated muscle fibers—blue
  • Neuronal and glial cell processes—blue-purple

Back

Verhoeff's Elastic

  • Elastic fibers—black
  • Nuclei—blue to black
  • Collagen—red
  • Other tissue elements—yellow

Back

Minerals

Rhodanine

  • Copper—red yellow
  • Nuclei—light blue

Back

Von Kossa

  • Calcium deposits—black
  • Background—pink

Back

Perl's Iron (Prussian Blue)

  • Iron deposits—brilliant blue
  • Background—pink

Back

Carbohydrates

PAS (Periodic Acid-Schiff's)

  • Simple polysaccharides, neutral mucosubstances, basement membranes, mucolipids and fungus—magenta
  • Background—according to counterstain

Back

Alcian-Blue

  • Sulfated mucosubstances—blue
  • Background—according to counterstain

Back

Congo Red

  • Amyloid deposits—pink to red
    • Note: Amyloid will show an apple-green birefringence when polarized
  • Nuclei—blue

Back

Nerve Tissue

Cresyl Echt Violet

  • Nissl substance—blue

Back

Bielschowsky's

  • Axons—black
  • Intracellular neurofibrils—black

Back

PTAH

  • Neuronal and glial cell processes—blue-purple

Back

Luxol Fast Blue

  • Myelin sheath—blue-green
  • Background—according to counterstain

Back

Miscellaneous

Osmium

  • Lipid—black

Back

OFG (Pituitary)

  • Acidophils—orange-yellow
  • Basophils—magenta-red
  • Chromophobes—pale green
  • RBS's—yellow

Back

Churukian Schenk

  • Argyrophil and argentaffin cells—black
  • Nuclei—orange to red
  • Background—light yellow

Back

Toluidine Blue

  • Mast cells—deep reddish purple
  • Background—faint blue