Movat's stain

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Movat's stain is a pentachrome stain originally developed by Henry Zoltan Movat (1923–1995), a Hungarian-Canadian Pathologist in Toronto[1] in 1955 to highlight the various constituents of connective tissue, especially cardiovascular tissue, by five colors in a single stained slide.[2] In 1972, H. K. Russell, Jr. modified the technique so as to reduce the time for staining and to increase the consistency and reliability of the staining.[3]

Interpretation of results[4]
Colour Tissue type
Black Nuclei; elastic fibres
Yellow Collagen fibres; reticular fibres
Blue Ground substance; mucin
Bright red Fibrin
Red Muscle


The modified Russel-Movat staining highlights a lot of tissue components in histological slides. It is obtained by a mix of five stains: alcian blue, Verhoeff hematoxylin, crocein scarlet combined with acidic fuchsine and saffron. At pH 2.5, alcian blue is fixed by electrostatic binding with the acidic mucopolysaccharides. The Verhoeff hematoxylin has a high affinity for nuclei and elastin fibers, negatively charged. The combination of crocein scarlet with acidic fuchsine stains acidophilic tissue components in red. Then, collagen and reticulin fibers are unstained by a reaction with phosphotungstic acid and stained in yellow by saffron.


Modified Russel-Movat staining is used to study the heart, blood vessels and connective tissues. It can also be used to diagnose vascular and lung diseases.[5]



  1. ^ "Pathology News: Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 4: April 1996" (PDF). Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University.
  2. ^ Movat, HZ (1955). "Demonstration of all connective tissue elements in a single section; pentachrome stains". AMA Archives of Pathology. 60 (3): 289–95. PMID 13248341.
  3. ^ Russell Jr, HK (1972). "A modification of Movat's pentachrome stain". Archives of Pathology. 94 (2): 187–91. PMID 4114784.
  4. ^ "Penn MCRC > Modified Movat's Pentachrome Stain". Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  5. ^ "Modified Russel-Movat - Histalim". Archived from the original on 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2016-06-27.

See also[edit]