This manual is the main reference source used by the technical staff and personnel of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York. The staining methods included in the manual are those which we have found to be reliable, and consistent. The format of these staining methods is patterned after the Manual of Histologic Staining Methods of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, third Edition, 1968, The McGraw-Hill Book Company, Blakiston Division, New York, Edited by Lee G. Luna.
In this revised edition several of the staining procedures have been modified in order to improve the staining results and/or simplify the methods. Many of the methods were developed in our Special Stains Laboratory and have been published in various journals including The Journal of Histotechnology, Stain Technology, Biotechnic and Histochemistry, Laboratory Medicine and Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques. Research and development of new staining procedures and the improvement of existing ones has and will continue to be one of our objectives.
Several methods included in this manual utilized microwave irradiation. The use of microwave irradiation greatly reduces the time required to perform the methods without compromising the quality of the staining results. In fact in some of the methods, the staining results are improved by the use of microwave irradiation. Some investigators (Boon and Kok in Microwave Cookbook of Pathology) recommend the use of expensive microwave ovens to heat solutions more uniformly. We have used low-priced microwave ovens manufactured by General Electric and Litton with good staining results. Numerous other makes are available which will, with the proper adjustments in times and power settings, give equally good results.
Included in this manual is a section on the stability of dye and chemical solutions that are used in most of the staining procedures in this manual. These solutions are listed under the staining methods and in separate lists of dye and chemical solutions. A list of the dyes certified by the Biological Stain Commission and their Color Index numbers is provided. Also, the manual contains methods for removing stains from hands, clothing and glassware. There is also a list for the sources of controls for special stains and a list of where to order chemicals and dyes.
It is my sincere desire that all who use this manual will achieve a greater degree of success in the art of Special Stains.
Charles J. Churukian
Supervisor, Special Stains Laboratory