Re: Mayer's hematoxylin and chloral hydrate

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From:Victor Tobias <>
To:Phyllis Davie <>
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In my previous job we always made our own Mayer's with chloral hydrate.
Thanks to the Histonet, we discontinued using chloral hydrate and still got
excellent staining. The only difference in our recipe over AFIP was that we
used 1.5gm of hematoxylin instead of 1gm.

Victor Tobias
Histology Supervisor
University of Washington Medical Center
Seattle, WA

Phyllis Davie wrote:

> I have been having trouble with the hematoxylin counterstain for my
> immunos.  It is generally weak, with poor nuclear detail.  I have been
> purchasing Mayer's hematoxylin, and I have tried 4 different vendors now,
> all with the same results.  My first question is; what can be causing
> this weak staining, and what can I do to fix it?  (I have been
> counterstaining from 4-15 minutes, and many times, the staining--poor as
> it is--drops off markedly after just a few racks of slides)
> The second part of my question is this;  We decided to make our own
> Mayer's hematoxylin, but the recipe we found in the AFIP Laboratory
> Methods in Histotechnology, p. 52, calls for 50g of chloral hydrate.
> Unfortunately, chloral hydrate is a class IV DEA (Drug Enforcement
> Agency) regulated substance, and no-one here has a DEA license.  Can
> anyone tell me what is the purpose of the chloral hydrate in the
> hematoxylin is?
> Thank you
> Phyllis Davie
> Clinical Laboratory Supervisor
> PhenoPath Laboratories
> Seattle, WA
> (206)374-9009  phone
> (206)374-9009  fax

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