Oil Red O

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 November 2015, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Oil Red O[title]

Definition / General
  • Stain identifies neutral lipids and fatty acids
  • Fresh smears / cryostat sections of tissue are necessary because alcohols used in tissue processing remove lipids
  • Rapid and simple routine stain
  • Uses:
    1. Differentiate fibroma from thecoma (not that important a distinction)
    2. Diagnose renal cell carcinoma, sebaceous gland tumors of skin, lipid-rich carcinomas
    3. Identify fat emboli in lung tissue or clot sections of peripheral blood
Micro Images

Fat emboli in lung