Skip to main content


Log in

New temperature modification makes the Bielschowsky silver stain reproducible

  • Regular Paper
  • Published:
Acta Neuropathologica Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The Bielschowsky silver impregnation can be used as a single stain for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. It impregnates both the amyloid and neuritic components of the senile plaques and it reliably stains neurofibrillary tangles. However, we find that the stain is highly sensitive to changes of the ambient temperature. Since the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease rely on a semi-quantitative assessment of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles the reproducibility of the Bielschowsky stain is important. In this study we compare three different modifications of the Bielschowsky stain with the methenamine silver stain and with immunohistochemistry for the β-amyloid and the hyperphosphorylated tau proteins. We found that the most reliable and easily reproducible modification of the Bielschowsky silver impregnation is the one that uses incubations at 5°C.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Electronic Publication

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Litchfield, S., Nagy, Z. New temperature modification makes the Bielschowsky silver stain reproducible. Acta Neuropathol 101, 17–21 (2001).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: