Verhoeff stain

Verhoeff stain

Verhoeff stain highlights the network of elastic fibers.
This stain is useful in the diagnosis of congenital or acquired degenerative lesions (stretch marks, solar elastosis), vasculitis (may be required to demonstrate the elastic limit of the vessels) or temporal arteritis.
This method is based on the staining of elastic fibers by haematin combined with iodine and ferric chloride. The Verhoeff Coloring Kit contains 6 dyes.
The method is based on the affinity of hemalun associated with a Lugol solution for elastic fibers. The electivity of the method is not absolute; other tissue structures, such as collagen and muscle, may be stained; it is therefore important to carry out a careful differentiation to obtain a marked and selective coloration of the elastic fibers. Sirius picrate red background staining can complement the chromatic framework to highlight other connective tissue components.
Verhoeff stain highlights different cellular and tissue structures:
  • The nuclei in gray to black
  • Elastic fibers in black
  • Stain of the cytoplasm, red blood cells or collagen depends on the counter staining used.

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