Gomori's Aldehyde Fuschsin

Classification: connective tissue stain

Mechanism of staining: ionic bonding/van der Waals forces

Purpose: stain elastin, beta cells in Islets of Langerhans, basophils in anterior pituitary, and mast cells

Control tissue: aorta, skin, lung, internal control

Properly Stained Slide

Elastin fibers: Royal purple

Muscle, cytoplasm, collagen: Green

 Nuclei: Not demonstrated






Lugol’s iodine


Creates reactive groups in apolar elastin

Omitted: Elastin is less intense. Oxidization is optional.

Too short: Elastin is less intense.

Too long: No problem.

Sodium thiosulphate (hypo)

Removes iodine discoloration


Omitted: Background discoloration will occur.

Too short: Nuclei and cytoplasm will not be demonstrated or weakly stained.

Too long: No problem.

Aldehyde fuchsin

Primary stain (progressive stain)


o      Pararosanilin (Basic Fuchsin) 

o      70% ethanol 

o      HCl

o      Fresh Paraldehyde

H bonding/ van der Waals bonding to the apolar core of elastin fibers. Salt linkages to the microbrillar components of elastin.

Omitted: Elastin not demonstrated.

Too long: : Fine elastin fibers not demonstrated.

Too short: Fine elastin fibers not demonstrated.

95% Alcohol rinse



Omitted: Aldehyde fuchsin precipitation.

Too long: Fine elastin fibers are not demonstrated.

Too short: Fine elastin fibers are not demonstrated.

Light green



Omitted: No other tissue components demonstrated.

Too long: Fine elastin fibres obscured.

Too short: Other tissues stain lightly and no detail seen.



Properly Stained Slide

Close up detail of the finely stained royal purple elastin fibers in thin skin.


Officer B. HIML251 Lecture notes: Elastic Stains: Verhoeff’s van Gieson & Gomori’s Aldehyde Fuchsin, January 21, 2009