Characterizing cutaneous elastic fibers by eosin fluorescence detected by fluorescence microscopy

Young Soo Heo, Hae Jun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Though elastic fibers are as important as collagen fibers in interpretation of the histopathologic findings, it is impossible to observe them on the hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) stained specimen. Objective: Characterizing eosin fluorescence emitted by elastic fibers in H&E stained specimens. Methods: Normal skin tissue sections were stained in 4 different ways (unstained, hematoxylin only, eosin only, H&E) and observed under a fluorescence microscope using a FITC filter set. Fluorescent findings of 30 H&E-stained specimens showing abnormal dermal findings were compared with bright field findings of Miller's elastic stained specimen. Results: Strong eosin fluorescence was related to the differential binding properly of eosin with elastic fibers. Hematoxylin stain quenched excessive eosin fluorescence from other tissue components and contributed to better contrast. Fluorescence microscopy of H&E-stained sections was found to be especially useful in observing mature elastic fibers in the reticular dermis. In 74% of the specimens, eosin fluorescence findings of elastic fibers in reticular dermis matched well with that of specimens with elastic fiber special stain. Conclusion: Analysis of skin elastic fibers by fluorescence microscopy is a useful and complementary method to reveal hidden elastic fibers in H&Estained specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Elastic fiber
  • Eosin
  • Fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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