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November 1960

Simplified Acid Orcein and Giemsa Technique for Routine Staining of Skin Sections

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Wayne State University College of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(5):699-700. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580050041004

The normal and pathological skin presents a variety of tissue elements that are not demonstrated or not easily differentiated in sections stained with the routine hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) combination. In 1944, a modification of Unna-Taenzer's method for elastic fibers and cellular elements was described,1 which combined relative ease and great reliability with differential staining of more skin constituents than can be visualized with the original method. In recent years, a new type of synthetic orcein has become available and has made further simplification of the technique possible.

Tissues may be fixed in a dilute formalin, 70% or absolute alcohol, or formol-alcohol. Fixatives containing chromates, mercury, or picric acid should be avoided. Paraffin sections may be from 5μ to 15μ thick. Sections 10μ in thickness often are preferable to thinner ones, as they give a better threedimensional picture.

Solutions  A. Dissolve 0.2 gm. of

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