International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 1103–1109 | Cite as

Proposals for best-quality immunohistochemical staining of paraffin-embedded brain tissue slides in forensics

  • Florian Trautz
  • Jan Dreßler
  • Ruth Stassart
  • Wolf Müller
  • Benjamin Ondruschka
Method Paper


Immunohistochemistry (IHC) has become an integral part in forensic histopathology over the last decades. However, the underlying methods for IHC vary greatly depending on the institution, creating a lack of comparability. The aim of this study was to assess the optimal approach for different technical aspects of IHC, in order to improve and standardize this procedure. Therefore, qualitative results from manual and automatic IHC staining of brain samples were compared, as well as potential differences in suitability of common IHC glass slides. Further, possibilities of image digitalization and connected issues were investigated. In our study, automatic staining showed more consistent staining results, compared to manual staining procedures. Digitalization and digital post-processing facilitated direct analysis and analysis for reproducibility considerably. No differences were found for different commercially available microscopic glass slides regarding suitability of IHC brain researches, but a certain rate of tissue loss should be expected during the staining process.


Biomarker Evaluation Forensic neuropathology GFAP Immunohistochemistry Traumatic brain injury 


Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Indeed, they did not receive any funding from the named companies. All of them are not aware of this method paper and the presented results.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Trautz
    • 1
  • Jan Dreßler
    • 1
  • Ruth Stassart
    • 2
  • Wolf Müller
    • 2
  • Benjamin Ondruschka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineMedical Faculty, University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of Neuropathology, University HospitalUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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