A Rapid Technique for Iron-Hematoxylin Staining Requiring No Microscopic Control of Decolorization

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panama, R. de P.

The importance of iron-hematoxylin staining in the diagnosis of protozoa is well recognized. While it is used extensively in research institutions, and in many clinical laboratories, it has never become a routine laboratory procedure for the average technician on account of the difficult and laborious technique. The particular difficulty seems to have been the control of the decolorization process which had to be carried out under the microscope, a step requiring considerable experience in the use of the stain and more than average knowledge of protozoology.

A technique has been evolved that removes this step which has been responsible for its unsuccessful use, and which makes it possible for any laboratory technician to use the iron-hematoxylin method and obtain uniform and satisfactory results.

The only new feature of this technique is the use of a 0.25 per cent solution of iron-alum for decolorization instead of the stronger 1 and 2 per cent solutions.