Histologia Imunohistoquímica

Comparison of Special Stains for Keratin with Routine Hematoxylin and Eosin Stain

Escrito por Ruben Gouveia
Here we publish a very interesting article about keratins and the “special” routine staining in histology.


Keratins are the most abundant proteins and are characteristic findings in many epithelial pathologies, making it a diagnostically important marker, both histopathologically and immunohistochemically. Since, immunohistochemistry is an expensive diagnostic tool, special stains to detect the degree of keratinization could serve as a faster and economic option. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of special stains for keratin with standard hematoxylin and eosin stain (H and E). Objectives include: (i) To subject the diagnosed cases of keratin disorders to the selected special stains: Ayoub-shklar method, Dane-Herman method, Alcian blue –periodic acid Schiff ’s (PAS), rapid papanicolaou (PAP) and Gram’s stain. (ii) To compare the staining specificity and staining intensity of special stains with respect to routine hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) stain. (iii) To compare the efficacy of special stains to routine H and E stain in identification of the type of keratin present in the selected cases.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 80 cases of known pathology for keratin were retrieved from the department archive, which included 10 each of normal gingiva, hyperkeratosis, squamous papilloma, verrucous hyperplasia, verrucous carcinoma, well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, orthokeratinized odontogenic cyst and keratocystic odontogenic tumors. Six sections of 4 µ each from the paraffin blocks were made, stained with H and E and the special stains and these were evaluated by 2 pathologists based on the modified scoring criteria from Rahma Al-Maaini and Philip Bryant 2008.


The results were tabulated using Chi square and kappa statistics. The statistical values for identification of the type of keratinization was insignificant showing that ortho and parakeratinized epithelia could be correctly identified by both H and E as well as all the special stains. Furthermore, all the special stains showed a positive result and statistical significance (P < 0.001) with respect to the staining of keratin.


To conclude, though the special stains distinctly stained the keratin with a higher intensity, HE proves to be overall better stain with respect to specificity.

Article first published: Mar 2015
URL: Download article here

Citation: [Rao RS, Patil S, Majumdar B, Oswal RG. Comparison of special stains for keratin with routine hematoxylin and eosin stain. J Int Oral Health 2015;7(3):1-5.] Copyright: Journal of International Oral Health

From: US National Library of Medicine <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/> – National
Institutes of Health <http://www.nih.gov/>. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25078555.
Disclaimer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/disclaimer.html

Sobre o autor

Ruben Gouveia

Ruben nasceu em Lisboa em 1994. Completou a licenciatura em Anatomia Patológica, Citológica e Tanatológica, na Escola Superior de Saúde Egas Moniz em 2016. Trabalha no laboratório de Anatomia Patológica Joaquim Chaves Saúde desde 2016. Neste momento, encontra-se inscrito no curso de especialização de Macroscopia em Anatomia Patológica na Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa. Colabora com Pathologika desde 2017.

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