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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Liver Biopsies: Anatomy and Histological Considerations. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Oil Red O

The oil red o stain is used to demonstrate the presence of fat in specimens of fatty liver disease. The oil red o stain is the the oldest and most common stain for the demonstration of lipid/fat. The staining mechanism of the oil red o stain is a physical process rather than chemical. The oil red o stain must be performed on "fresh" frozen sections fixed in formalin as lipid/fat is removed during tissue processing. Additionally, air bubbles resulting from coverslipping should NOT be pressed out, as stained lipid/fat will be displaced.