Hematoxylin and eosin stain

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Hematoxylin and eosin stain
Stain in short

Hematoxylin and eosin stain of benign prostate. (WC)
Abbreviation H&E, HE
Use the standard stain in pathology
Interpretation blue (hematoxylin) = nucleus, pink (eosin) = cytoplasm

Hematoxylin and eosin stain, abbreviated H&E, is the most widely used standard stain in pathology.



  • Blue (hematoxylin) = nucleus.
  • Pink (eosin) = cytoplasm.


  • The above is why it is said (tongue-in-cheek) that blue is bad and pink is dead.


See also


  1. Giordano, G. (2009). "Value of immunohistochemistry in uterine pathology: common and rare diagnostic dilemmas.". Pathol Res Pract 205 (10): 663-76. doi:10.1016/j.prp.2009.05.007. PMID 19523774.