[Histonet] Re: Verhoeff/Masson's Stain

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 17:22:05 CDT 2011

The comments on Verhoeff's hematoxylin should be sufficient to
trouble-shoot this cumbersome but beautiful old stain - I don't know a
stain I'd rather photograph, except maybe Ramón y Cajal's gold

Verhoeff's hematoxylin is a century old this year. The original paper
is in the JAMA, of all places - I think I had a photocopy once. (We
need a commemorative postage stamp!)

Frederick Herman Verhoeff (a.k.a. Freddy, 1874-1968 - I've always
heard it pronounced veer-hoff) was the founder of American
ophthalmologic pathology. Working solo in a little lab at the
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, he published a great number of
papers in ophthalmology. He intended his stain to demonstrate myelin
sheaths in human autopsy optic nerve. It was in routine use for this
purpose at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins when I was a
pathology resident there in the later 1960's, when Dick Green (died
last year at 76) was the chief of eye pathology.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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