Mucin within goblet cells demonstrated by mucicarmine stain
The mucicarmine staining procedure is very specific in its detection of mucins of epithelial origin. It is often used to identify adenocarcinomas, distinguishing these from squamous-cell carcinomas. It is particularly useful in detecting adenocarcinomas originating from the gastrointestinal tract.
This procedure can also successfully stain and detect the capsule of a fungal organism known as Cryptococcus neoformans . This fungus is usually identified in the lungs and in nervous tissues. C. neoformans is more likely to infect immunocompromised patients than persons with active immune systems.