Staining & Special Stains

The special stain procedures are very useful tools to assist the pathologist in his/her diagnosis of the patient biopsy tissue sample. These special stains can confirm the pathologist’s diagnosis or the results from the special stain can redirect the pathologist to further investigation.

What do special stains represent and why do we do them? With special stains we can show specific tissue characteristics that need to be independently identified for assisting in an accurate diagnosis.

Proper quality control for the special staining is mandatory. The technicians must run a known positive control with every patient sample being tested with a special stain. This control is the check system for the reagents used and for the technique performed by the technician. The control must be reviewed by the technician and show the positive expected results prior to the release of the patient slides. The slides of the special stain procedures are read by the pathologist and the special stain results are included in the pathology report