Re: warthin-starry

The staining mechanisms behind the Warthin-Starry (1920) technique are 
complex and often capricious. If the staining problem occurs within the 
tissue section only, then it could be attributed to a pigment or contaminant 
introduced into the tissue during or after fixation (exogenous) or an 
endogenous pigment found within the tissue before fixation. If the pigment or 
precipitated contaminant is found lying ontop of the section and peripherally 
around the section, overheating or metal contamination could be the cause.

Some probable causes:

1. Slide adhesive from waterbath - Use plus treated slides.
2. Metallic fixative - Lugolize deparaffinized slides.
3. Contaminated glassware - Acid clean all glassware.
4. Metal contamination - Use plastic forceps or metal forceps dipped in 
5. Contaminated or precipitated silver stock solution - Filter stock solution 
before use.
6. Overheated silver solution or developer - Repeat procedure.

Eric C. Kellar
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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