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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Troubleshooting Guidance for Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) Stain. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Where is the Pink and Blue?

Remember that not all tissues are created equally. Cysts and fatty samples, even when processed correctly, may be very difficult to see grossly once the slide has been stained. These samples often have open spaces where fluids or fat were in the cell, and the thinness of the cell walls may give the appearance of being light when the coloration is simply an artifact of the tissue type.
One of the challenges of a good H&E is working with low cellularity material. In this image, the fat in the cells takes up a great deal of space, which can give the slide the appearance of being acellular grossly. Note the nicely processed and stained fat cells.