Re: Hale's Stain

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From:Katri Tuomala <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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J. A. Kiernan wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Dec 1998, Bryan Llewellyn wrote:
> > The method is Hale's colloidal iron stain for acid mucins, I presume.
> > ... It is detailed in Bancroft & Stevens (Theory and Practice of
> > Histological Techniques).
>   Does the colloidal iron method show anything that cannot
>   be seen with alcian blue, which is a simpler stain to use?
>   (Just curious.)
>  John A. Kiernan,
>  Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
>  The University of Western Ontario,
>  LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

Quoting a chapter from Bancroft.."the main advantage of this technique
over alcian blue staining lies in its greater sensitivity an intensity
of reaction, particularly useful, when demonstrating the often weakly
reactive and scanty hyaluronic acid deposits associated with
mesotheliomas". One of our pathologists specializing in skin lesions
prefers this stain and it is very pretty. We make  our dialysed iron by
adding 29% aqueous ferric chloride into boiling distilled water and it
works great. The detailed method can be found in Bancroft and Stevens
"The Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques".
Katri Tuomala St.Joseph's Hospital
Hamilton, ON, Canada

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