Significance of Staining Uric Acid Crystals with Natural and Synthetic Dyes

  • J. Kleeberg
  • Esther Warski
  • J. Shalitin
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 41 B)


In the urinary sediment of healthy and of sick people only crystals of uric acid appear stained (yellow-brown). No other colored metabolites or calciumsalts in crystallized form are excreted. There is no uniform opinion about the nature of this yellow-brown pigment (1;2;3;); it is probably a mixture of urobilin — urobilinogen. Among the many pigments appearing in the urine of healthy individuals, two are chemically and biochemically well-known: urobilin and urorosein. Experiments with urobilin would have required the production of this bilirubin derivative in sufficient quantities; this task was beyond our technical conditions at that time. Studies to try staining with urorosein, on the other hand, were easy because its synthesis from its basic substance, indole-acetic-acid (4;5;) is easy (6;7;8;). It seemed, furthermore, obvious to experiment with another natural pigment of strong staining property, beetroot extract. Since both kinds of dye studies proved successful it was but a simple, logical step to test a synthetic dye also: methylene blue.


Methylene Blue Sodium Hydroxide Solution Urinary Sediment Acid Crystal Natural Pigment 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Page, L.B. and Culver P.J. A syllabus of laboratory examinations in clinical Diagnosis. Cambridge (Mass), Harvard university Press 1961. pp.293,326.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hawk’s Physiological Chemistry 14th ed. by B.L. Oser New York, London Blackiston Division. Mc. Graw Hill Book Comp, 1965Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Varley Practical clinical biochemistry 4th ed. London. William Heinemann Medical Books 1967.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Herter, C.A. On Indol-acetic-acid as the Chromogen of the Urorosein in the Urin. J. biol. Chem. 4. 239. 1908.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nencki, M. und Sieber, N. Ueber das Urorosein, einen neuen Harnfarbstoff, J. f. prakt. Chem. 26. 333. 1882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    von Dobeneck, H., Lehneber, Wo. und Maresch, G. Ueber das Urorosein Ztschr. phys. Chem. 304. 26. 1956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    von Dobeneck, H. Die Urorosein Reaktion. Ztschr. f. klin. Chem. 4. 141. 1966.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    von Dobeneck, H., Wolkenstein, D. und Biankenstein, G. Alpha-beta-di-Indolyl-Methan und Methene; der Urorosein Chromophor. Chenu Ber. 102. 1347. 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kleeberg, J. Paerbung von Harnsaeurekristal len mit Methylenblau Ztschr. Urol. 63. 619. 1972.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Warski, Esther Formation and Dissolution of Urinary Calculi Thesis in Bio-Medical Engineering Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. 1972.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dreiding, A. S. Recent Development in the Chemistry of natural Phenol Compounds ed. by G. Allis. Chapter 11 London. New York, Pergamon Press 1961.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wyler, H., Mabry, T.J. und Dreiding, A.S. Ueber die Konstitution des Randenfarbstoffs Betanin. Helvet. Chinu Acta 46. 1745. 1963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mabry, T.J. and Dreiding, A.S. The Betanines (in “Recent Advances in Phytochemistry ed. by Mabry — Alston — Runekles). Chapter 4. New York. Appleton Century Crofts. 1968.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sutor, Jane The possible Use of Methylene Blue in the Treatment of Primary Hyperoxaluria Brit. J. Urol. 42. 398. 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Boyce, W.M., Kimney, W.M., Long, N.T. and Drach, G.W. Oral Administration of Methylene Blue to Patients with Renal Calculi J. Urol. (U.S.A.) 97. 783. 1967.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chow, F.H.C., Brase, J.L., Dwayne, D.H. and Udell, R.H. Effects of Dietary Supplements and Methylene Blue on Urinary Calculi. J. Urol. (U.S.A.) 104. 315. 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kleeberg
    • 1
  • Esther Warski
    • 2
  • J. Shalitin
    • 2
  1. 1.Research DepartmentRothschild University HospitalHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Biochemistry DepartmentIsrael Institute for TechnologyHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations