Romanowsky Stains

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

Principle No. 5

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


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...


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.


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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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