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Carbol Fuchsin Variants

Carbol Fuchsin Variants


NameCI NumberAmount
ZiehlBasic fuchsin405101 g5 g90%, 10 mL100 mL
Albrecht4 g8 g95%, 20 mL100 mL
Davalos10 g5 gAbs, 1 mL100 mL
Goodpasture0.5 g1 g95%, 20 mL80 mLAniline, 1 mL
Huntoon0.6 g3.75 g75 mLGlycerol, 25 mL
Kinyoun4 g8 mL95%, 20 mL100 mLMolten phenol
Muller4 g8 g95%, 20 mL100 mLTergotol 7, 0.1 mL
Pottenger1.6 g5 g95%, 15 mL80 mL
Verhoeff2 g25 mLAbs, 50 mLMolten phenol
FiteNew fuchsin425200.5 g5 g90 mLMethanol, 10 mL
Putt1 g5 g90 mLMethanol, 10 mL
Tilden0.5 g5 g90 mLMethanol, 10 mL
LillieNight blue440851 g5 gAbs, 10 mL90 mL
LillieVictoria blue R440401 g5 gAbs, 10 mL90 mL
Kuper MayAuramine O410001.5 g10 mL95%, 20 mL50 mLGlycerol, 75 mL
Kuper MayRhodamine B451700.75 g10 mL95%, 20 mL50 mLMolten phenol


Different instructions have been given for compounding. Ziehl’s solution is prepared according to instruction A. Others specify instructions similar to B. Verhoeff’s follows C.

Option A

  1. Grind the dye with the phenol using a pestle and mortar.
  2. Add the ethanol in small amounts while grinding to dissolve the dye, collecting the dissolved dye each time.
  3. When all the dye is dissolved, add the water in several small amounts.
  4. Wash out the mortar each time and collect the washings.
  5. Filter before using.

Option B

  1. Dissolve the dye in the ethanol and the phenol in the water.
  2. When both are dissolved, combine and mix well.
  3. Filter before use.

Option C

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Place in a 60°C oven overnight.
  3. Cool and filter.


  • Phenol has a density of 1.07 grams per mL. Melting phenol and measuring volumetrically compared to simply weighing gives a difference of 7%. This is not likely to cause staining failures. As an example, Ziehl’s formula requires 5 grams phenol, but if 5 mL is measured volumetrically the amount used would be 5.35 grams. In most cases this difference is likely insignificant. An exception would be Verhoeff’s as 25 mL molten phenol equates to 26.75 grams.
  • Because of the high ethanol content an open flame should not be used with Verhoeff’s solution.

Safety Note

Prior to handling any chemical, consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for proper handling and safety precautions.


  1. Gray, Peter. (1954)
    The Microtomist’s Formulary and Guide. p.
    Originally published by: The Blakiston Co.
    Republished by: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
  2. Culling, C.F.A., Alison, R.T. and Barr, W.T. (1985)
    Cellular Pathology Technique, 4th ed.
    Butterworths, London, UK.
  3. Putt, F.A., (1972)
    Manual of histopathological staining methods
    John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA
  4. Humason, G.L., (1967)
    Animal Tissue Techniques
    W.H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco, CA, USA
  5. Lillie, R.D.,
    Histopathologic Technic and Practical Histochemistry
    McGraw-Hill, New York, USA