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December 1960

Fluorescence Microscopy in the Diagnosis of Cutaneous Malignancy

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology, University of Minnesota, Dr. Francis W. Lynch, Director.

Formerly Fellow, Division of Dermatology, University of Minnesota. Presently Associate in Dermatology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(6):965-970. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580060121019

During the past 10 years fluorescence microscopy and its application to histopathology have become increasingly important. Because of their content of cytoplasmic ribonucleic acid and nuclear desoxyribonucleic acid, malignant cells present a characteristic picture when stained with acridine orange and viewed with a fluorescence microscope.4,5,8 Recently a number of reports have been published indicating that this technique has been successfully used to study body fluids and cervical smears.1 Proponents of the technique feel it has merit because of the ease and rapidity it permits in diagnosing the presence or absence of malignancy.

This paper reports the application of the fluorochrome, acridine orange, to the study of benign and malignant tumors of the skin.

Methods  Four hundred forty-six cutaneous specimens were obtained from patients with routine dermatologic disorders. In most instances imprint smears were made before specimens were placed in the fixative, which consisted of equal parts of 95%

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