Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, Helly's fluid, phosphotungstic acid
hematoxylin stain, A. 612 x; B. 1416 x.
Phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin is a stain particularly suited for the demonstration of striations in skeletal muscle. Iron hematoxylin and Mallory-azan are also effectively used for this purpose. Note that at low magnification only the two major cross striations can be seen. The dark band is the A band, and the light band is the I band. Higher magnifications are usually required to see the light-staining area in the center of the A band, which is known as the H zone, and the thin, dark line bisecting the I band, which is named the Z line. The repeating structural unit between two Z lines is called a sarcomere.
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