Re: Mayer's hematoxylin and chloral hydrate

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From:"Charles Eisener" <>
To:"Phyllis Davie" <>
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The second part of your message is an easy one - the chloral hydrate acts as
a preservative. While some texts make no comment, Vacca and some others
indicate this to be an optional ingredient. With this in mind, it may well
be worthwhile giving the recipe a try.

Have not used Mayers for some time, so am not familiar with commercial
varieties. Mayers is a progressive stain: acid differentiation is not
normally used. Poor or extended formalin fixation can also impair staining
results. I believe staining times were in the 10-20 minute range, followed
by 15-20 minutes in running water prior to eosin counterstaining.

I have used Mayers in combination with Celestin Blue. This sequence is
faster, and the nuclear staining more resistant to acid counterstains. (The
combo acts more like an iron haematoxylin.)

Laboratory Manual of Histochemistry, Vacca LL; Raven Press, 1985. (There is
a more recent edition)

Charles Eisener HT, RT(H)
Cortland Memorial Hospital
Cortland, NY

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