Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Staining techniques: Romanowsky-type stains

Synonym(s): Wright's, Giemsa, Diffquick

Contributor(s): Kathleen P Freeman, Karen Gerber


  • Romanowsky stains are neutral stains composed of a mixture of oxidized methylene blue (azure) dyes and Eosin Y.
  • The azures are basic dyes that bind acid nuclei and result in a blue to purple color.
  • The acid dye, eosin, is attracted to the alkaline cytoplasm, producing red coloration.


  • Blood films, bone marrow examination, cytology Stain: Wrights.


  • Readily available, easy to prepare, maintain and use.


  • Nuclear and nucleolar detail not as good as Papanicolaou stain Staining techniques: Papanicolaou stain , but adequate to distinguish neoplasia from inflammation.
  • pH sensitive therefore buffer and rinse water are critical.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Dacia Sir J V & Lewis S M (2001) Practical Haematology. 6th edn, Longman Singapore Publishers Pte Ltd, pp 50-61.
  • Harvey J W (2001) Atlas of Veterinary Hematology.Blood and Bone Marrow of Domestic Animals. W B Saunders, p 11.
  • Bain B J (1989) Blood Cells, A Practical Guide. Gower Medical Publishing, pp 810.
  • Hall R & Malia R (1984) Medical Laboratory Haematology. Butterworth & Co (publishers) Ltd, pp 132- 136.
  • Pratt P W Laboratory Procedures For Veterinary Technicians. 3rd edn. Mosby, p 547.