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Commonly used stains

Last updated on Sunday, April 5 2009 by jdmiles

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In this section, we'll go over some of the more commonly used stains in neuropathology.  Different stains might be used in different tissues.  For example, the Gomorri trichrome stain is especially helpful in muscle to find certain types of myopathy.  Others might be used in different tissues looking for a particular process.  For example, in brain, peripheral nerve, or muscle, amyloid shows up with an "apple-green birefringence" when stained with Congo red and viewed through a polarizing filter. A lot of  immunohistochemical stains may look the same (brown on a gray background), but it is the specific epitopes that they stain that makes them useful. For these stains, some knowledge of the pathophysiology, anatomy, and biochemistry of the specific disease process and tissue is necessary.

Take a look at each of the images and related pages below.  You'll find a description of each stain, and for each stain you'll also see examples of how normal and pathological tissues look when that stain is used.