[Histonet] Iron Stain

Bob Richmond rsrichmond at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 12:33:34 CDT 2018

Tasha Campbell, B.S.,HTL(ASCP), at Frederick Gastroenterology Associates in
Frederick, Maryland asks:

>>Is nuclear fast red the only counter stain for the Prussian blue stain? I
have a Masson's trichrome kit and was wondering if [Biebrich] scarlet could
be [used as] a counterstain. I won't be doing the iron stain very often at
all so I am trying to keep dry reagents on hand to make up as needed so
they do not expire so quickly.<<

This old pathologist never found Biebrich scarlet or the various fuchsins
to be satisfactory substitutes for nuclear fast red - they're too dense,
and they don't stain nuclei specifically.

Nuclear fast red (Kernechtrot, C.I. 60760) is a dye with problems - poor
shelf life both dry and in solution, and it will probably go out of
manufacture eventually. It's used as an aluminum lake for staining nuclei.

I'm not sure what would serve as an alternative. I'd like to know more
about brazilin (particularly about Anatech's Brazilliant), a catechol dye
similar to hematoxylin, with good specificity for nuclei.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN

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