Role of Alcian blue (pH 2.5) histochemical stain in diagnostic thyroid pathology: how far is it helpful?
International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences
Controversies and pitfalls are well-known in diagnostic thyroid pathology. Since, the luminal surface of neoplastic thyroid follicular cells is said to be covered by a glycoproteinaceous material, there is a need to investigate the efficacy of mucin stains like Alcian blue (pH 2.5), which can be used as an adjunctive tool in difficult cases. Methods: 60 thyroidectomy specimens, received at Department of Pathology, were included in this retrospective analytical study. Alcian blue histochemical
... lue histochemical (pH 2.5) staining was done on representative sections and assessed for positivity. Results: Of the 60 cases analysed, all cases of papillary/nodular hyperplasia (n=10), follicular adenoma (n=14), follicular carcinoma (n=4) and medullary carcinoma (n=1) were negative for Alcian blue. Only 3/16 (18.7 %) cases of classical papillary carcinoma and 2/15 (13.3%) cases of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma showed positivity. Conclusions: We got statistically insignificant results with Alcian blue (pH 2.5) staining, making it unreliable in diagnostic thyroid pathology.