Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 411, Issue 4, pp 365–368

Demonstration of needle-shaped hepatic inclusions in porphyria cutanea tarda using the ferric ferricyanide reduction test

  • František Fakan
  • Alena Chlumská

DOI: 10.1007/BF00713382

Cite this article as:
Fakan, F. & Chlumská, A. Vichows Archiv A Pathol Anat (1987) 411: 365. doi:10.1007/BF00713382


In 18 of 19 biopsy and 2 of 3 autopsy samples of hepatic tissue from cases of porphyria cutanea tarda needle-shaped cytoplasmic inclusions are capable of reducing ferric ions in the ferric ferricyanide reduction test. Thanks to the resulting Turnbull's Blue the inclusions are clearly visible, which facilitates their histological demonstration. In 20 biopsy and 20 autopsy samples of hepatic tissue from cases other than porphyria cutanea tarda the inclusions are not present. These needle-shaped inclusions are thus considered to be a specific histological feature. The ferric ferricyanide reduction test represents a simple method for their visualization, which can be used in routine diagnostic practice.

Key words

Porphyria Liver Cytoplasmic inclusions Reduction test 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • František Fakan
    • 1
  • Alena Chlumská
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of PathologyDistrict Institute of National HealthMostCzechoslovakia
  2. 2.Chair of PathologyPostgraduate Medical and Pharmaceutical InstitutePrague 2Czechoslovakia

Personalised recommendations