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Abnormal Tissue Identification

For us in histology, normal tissue identification is typically an easy process.  As histologists, we were once required to identify all normal tissues by H&E under the microscope.

For abnormal tissue however, an H&E stained slide can be very difficult to identify tissue type and diagnosis.  That’s why when a pathologist orders multiple stains on one tissue, they are trying to get a larger picture to understand its etiology.

To help in understanding, here are 3 stains on the same tissue, H&E, SMA, & CD8 at 4x & 10x.  This is human tissue.  Can you identify this tissue and its diagnosis?


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I’ll give you choices.

A. Lung – Spindle cell carcinoma

B. Liver – Cirrhosis

C. Colon – Adenocarcinoma

D. Heart – Myocardial fibrosis


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NPR News Covers New Policy of University Of California on Measles

NPR covers the story of the new required policy starting 2017 for all new students attending the University of California.  This gives a microscope picture of measles stained with H&E.  This is a truly rare event where histopathology is highlighted using a micrograph.


This is a great article to draw attention to histology and how diseases like this are diagnosed.

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Congo Red Stain Protocol For Amyloid

Run a control slide.                                     Control tissue – Tissue with amyloid

Safety equipment: Work under a hood with lab coat, gloves, and glasses.

  1. De-paraffin slides in xylene (1) —————— 2 minutes (re-use)
  2. De-paraffin slides in xylene (2)——————- 2 minutes (re-use)
  3. Clear slides in 100% alcohol———————- 2 minutes
  4. Clear slides in 100% alcohol———————- 2 minutes
  5. Hydrate slides in 95% alcohol——————– 2 minutes
  6. Hydrate slides in running water —————– 5 minutes
  7. 1% Congo red ————————————— 60 minutes (re-use)
  8. Rinse in water ————————————— 1 minute
  9. Alkaline Alcohol ————————————- until background clear (re-use)
  10. Wash in running water —————————- 5 minutes
  11. Harris Hematoxylin ——————————— 30 seconds (re-use)
  12. Wash in running water —————————- 10 minutes
  13. Dehydrate in 95% alcohol———————— 30 seconds
  14. Dehydrate in 100% alcohol——————— 1 minute
  15. Dehydrate in 100% alcohol——————— 2 minutes
  16. Dehydrate in 100% alcohol——————— 2 minutes
  17. Clear in xylene (3)——————————– 2 minutes (re-use)
  18. Clear in xylene (4)——————————– 5 minutes (re-use)
  19. Coverslip

Results:         Amyloid – Pink to red                     Nuclei – Blue

With polarizing microscope

Amyloid – Green Birefringence


An Expert Histology Service

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Woodland Pharmaceuticals Metastasis models

Hello everyone, we are proud to announce that we have been working with Woodland Pharmaceuticals in their project to identify a liver to lung metastasis model (MHCC97H) and are evaluating the lung cancer SQ A549 for lung lesions as well. At this point Woodland Pharmaceuticals is establishing a stable luciferase to express tumor cell lines with their partner SBH Sciences so metastasis can be quantified. They have positive control compounds that will mechanistically block most/all of this metastasis.  We have done all their histology so far and have much more to do.  Follow us with this exciting project.

Here are some of the pictures.

Primary tumor 10x
Primary tumor 10x
Mouse lung metastasis 40x
Mouse lung metastasis 40x
Liver metastasis 20x
Liver metastasis 20x
Liver metastasis 40x
Liver metastasis 40x









If you have LinkedIn account, you can take look at this exciting project at;



An Expert Histology Service