Definition / General
- With routine staining, calcium forms a blue-black lake with hematoxylin, usually with sharp edges
- von Kossa method: silver is substituted for calcium in calcium salts; light or a photographic developer turns the silver black; only stains calcium bound to an anion such as phosphate or carbonate; most useful when large amounts of phosphates and carbonates are present, as with bone
- Alizarin red S forms an orange-red lake with calcium at a pH of 4.2; works best with small amounts of calcium such as in Michaelis-Gutman bodies; this method is used on Dupont ACA analyzer to measure serum calcium photometrically
- Azan stain used to distinguish osteoid from mineralized bone.