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Romanowsky Stains

  • Gary W. Gill
Chapter
Part of the Essentials in Cytopathology book series (EICP, volume 12)

Principle No. 5

Stain preparations to facilitate cell visibility, detection, and interpretation.

Practice

Prepare cell spreads as thinly as the specimen will allow, air-dry, fix in methanol, and stain as recommended for the particular stain.

Historic Milestones

  • 1880—Ehrlich prepares the first neutral stain mixture that allows differentiation of blood cells.1

  • 1891—Malachowski and Romanowsky independently developed stains composed of eosin and “ripened” methylene blue that not only differentiated blood cells but also demonstrated the nuclei of malarial parasites.2, 3

  • 1902—Wright publishes a “rapid method for the differential staining of blood films and malarial parasites.”4

  • 1904—Giemsa introduces his eponymous stain.5

  • 1927—Babeş uses Giemsa stain to diagnose cancer cells in cervical smears.6

  • 1930—European hematologists use Romanowsky-type stains for fine needle aspirates.7

  • 1944—Lillie uses Romanovsky as alternative to Romanowsky.8

  • 1970—Witlin modifies Wright–Giemsa stain that forms basis...

Keywords

Methylene Blue Fine Needle Aspiration Blood Film Giemsa Stain Malarial Parasite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Ehrlich P. Methodologische Beiträge zur Physiologie und Pathologie der verschiedenen Formen der Leukocyten. Z klin Med. 1880;1:553–60.Google Scholar
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    Malachowski E. Zur Morphologie des Plasmodium malariae. Centbl f klin Med. 1891;31:601–3.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Romanowsky D. Zur Frage der Parasitologie und Therapie der Malaria. St Petersburg Med Wochenschr. 1891;16:297–302. 307–315.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wright JH. A rapid method for the differential staining of blood films and malarial parasites. J Med Res. 1902;7:138–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Giemsa G. Eine Vereinfachung und Vervollkommnung meiner Methylenazur-Methylenblau-Eosin- Färbemethode zur Erzielung der Romanowsky-Nochtschen Chromatinfärbung. Centralbl f Bakt etc. 1904;37:308–11.Google Scholar
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    Krafts KP, Pambuccian SE. Romanowsky staining in cytopathology – history, advantages and limitations. Biotechn Histochem. 2011;86(2):82–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lillie RD. Factors influencing the Romanovsky staining of blood films and the role of methylene violet. J Lab Clin Med. 1944;27:1181–97.Google Scholar
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    Marshall PN, Bentley SA, Lewis SM. A standardized Romanowsky stain prepared from purified dyes. J Clin Pathol. 1975;28(11):920–3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Woronzoff-Dashkoff KP. The Ehrlich-Chenzinsky-Plehn-Malachowski-Romanowsky-Nocht-Jenner-May-Grünwald-Leishman-Reuter-Wright-Giemsa-Lillie-Roe-Wilcox stain. The mystery unfolds. Clin Lab Med. 1993;13(4):759–71.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Marshall PN, Bentley SA, Lewis SM. Standardization of Romanowsky stains. The relationship between stain composition and performance. Scand J Haematol. 1978;20(3):206–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Krafts KP. The Malachowski-Wright-Giemsa stain: a many-splendored thing. Biotechn Histochem. 2011;86(1):2–6.Google Scholar
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    Horobin RW. How Romanowsky stains work and why they remain valuable—including a proposed universal Romanowsky staining mechanism and a rational troubleshooting scheme. Biotechn Histochem. 2011;86(1):36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Dunning K, Safo AO. The ultimate Wright-Giemsa stain: 60 years in the making. Biotechn Histochem. 2011;86(2):69–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary W. Gill
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Cytological ConsultantIndianapolisUSA

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