Papanicolaou stain


Papanicolaou stain
Papanicolaou stain showing a low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL). Pap test.

Papanicolaou stain (also Papanicolaou's stain and Pap stain) is a multichromatic staining histological technique developed by George Papanikolaou, the father of cytopathology.

Pap staining is used to differentiate cells in smear preparations of various bodily secretions; the specimens can be gynecological smears (Pap smears), sputum, brushings, washings, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, abdominal fluid, pleural fluid, synovial fluid, seminal fluid, fine needle aspiration material, tumor touch samples, or other materials containing cells.

Pap staining is a very reliable technique. As such, it is used for cervical cancer screening in gynecology. The entire procedure is known as Pap smear.

The classic form of Pap stain involves five dyes in three solutions:[1]

When performed properly, the stained specimen should display hues from the entire spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The chromatin patterns are well visible, the cells from borderline lesions are easier to interpret and the photomicrographs are better. The staining results in very transparent cells, so even thicker specimens with overlapping cells can be interpreted.

On a well prepared specimen, the cell nuclei are crisp blue to black. Cells with high content of keratin are yellow, glycogen stains yellow as well. Superficial cells are orange to pink, and intermediate and parabasal cells are turquoise green to blue. Metaplastic cells often stain both green and pink at once.

Pap stain is not fully standardized; it comes in several versions, subtly differing in the exact dyes used, their ratios, and timing of the process.

The EA stain contains two mutually incompatible chemicals, Bismarck brown and phosphotungstic acid, which precipitate each other, impairing the useful life of the mixture and compromising the differential staining of eosin and light green. The descriptions of the compositions of the staining solutions vary by source and differ even in Papanicolaou's own publications. Mixtures of the same name from different vendors therefore can differ in composition, occasionally producing different or poor results.

Ultrafast Papanicolaou stain

Ultrafast Papanicolaou stain is an alternative for the fine needle aspiration samples, developed to achieve comparable visual clarity in significantly shorter time. The process differs in rehydration of the air-dried smear with saline, use 4% formaldehyde in 65% ethanol fixative, and use of Richard-Allan Hematoxylin-2 and Cyto-Stain, resulting in a 90-second process yielding transparent polychromatic stains. [2]

See also

  • H&E stain, other popular staining technique
  • Wright stain, used for cerebrospinal fluid and suspected lymphomas
  • Staining (biology)

References

  1. ^ Carson, Freida L; Hladik, Christa (2009). Histotechnology: A Self-Instructional Text (3 ed.). Hong Kong: American Society for Clinical Pathology Press. pp. 361-3363. ISBN 9780891895817. 
  2. ^ [1]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Papanicolaou stain — a method of staining smears of secretions from the respiratory, digestive, or genitourinary tract for examination of exfoliated cells, to detect the presence of a malignant process; used in the Papanicolaou test (see under test). Papanicolaou… …   Medical dictionary

  • Papanicolaou stain test (smear) — Pap·a·nic·o·laou stain, test (smear) (pap″ə nikґo la oo) [George Nicolas Papanicolaou, Greek physician and anatomist in the United States, 1883–1962] see under test and see Stains and Staining Methods, under stain …   Medical dictionary

  • stain — 1. To discolor. 2. To color; to dye. 3. A discoloration. 4. A dye used in histologic and bacteriologic technique. 5. A procedure in which a dye or combination of dyes and reagents is used to color the constituents of cells and tissues. For… …   Medical dictionary

  • Papanicolaou's stain — A complex stain for detecting malignant cells in cervical smears. Contains in separate staining stages (a) haematoxylin, (b) Orange G phosphotungstic acid c) Light green, Bismarck Brown, Eosin and phosphotungstic acid …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • Papanicolaou — George N., Greek U.S. physician, anatomist, and cytologist, 1883–1962. See Pap smear, Pap test, P. examination, P. smear, P. smear test, P. stain …   Medical dictionary

  • H&E stain — H E stain, HE stain or hematoxylin and eosin stain, is a popular staining method in histology. It is the most widely used stain in medical diagnosis; for example when a pathologist looks at a biopsy of a suspected cancer, the histological section …   Wikipedia

  • Cyto-Stain — Cyto Stain, or CytoStain, is commercially available mix of staining dyes for polychromatic staining in histology. It provides results comparable to Papanicolaou staining, but in less number of operations and in shorter time. It is used in… …   Wikipedia

  • Coloration de Papanicolaou — (Texte à traduire) w:en:Pap stain showing w:en:urothelial carcinoma. Urine cytology specimen. La coloration de Papanicolaou est une coloration utilisée en cytologie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • test — 1. To prove; to try a substance; to determine the chemical nature of a substance by means of reagents. 2. A method of examination, as to determine the presence or absence of a definite disease or of some substance in any of the fluids, tissues,… …   Medical dictionary

  • Staining — is an auxiliary technique used in microscopy to enhance contrast in the microscopic image.In biochemistry it involves adding a class specific (DNA, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) dye to a substrate to qualify or quantify the presence of a… …   Wikipedia