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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Histology Special Stains: Carbohydrates. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Colloidal iron stain

Colloidal Iron: Diagnostic Applications

The colloidal iron staining procedure is often used in place of alcian blue to demonstrate acid mucins (due to its greater sensitivity to acid mucins), as well as the ability of the colloidal iron stain to detect acid mucins in small quantities. This is particularly helpful in diagnosing some mesotheliomas, as well as differentiating renal cell carcinomas from other pathological processes. Colloidal iron is most commonly used on tissue samples obtained from the gastrointestinal tract.