Sudan Black B Stain

Norm of Sudan Black B Stain

Lymphocytes do not stain; granulocytes do stain.


Usage of Sudan Black B Stain

Differentiation and classification of acute leukemias; lipid and phospholipid staining.


Description of Sudan Black B Stain

The microscopic examination of a sample of bone marrow or blood stained with Sudan black stain, a fat-soluble dye. This stain differentiates acute granulocytic leukemia (which accepts the stain) from acute lymphocytic leukemia (which does not accept the stain). This technique has an advantage over the myeloperoxidase stain in that it can be used on smears collected as early as 12 months before testing. In addition, it is more sensitive but less specific than the myeloperoxidase stain.


Professional Considerations of Sudan Black B Stain

Consent form NOT required.

  1. Obtain a bone marrow biopsy tray or a red-topped tube.
  2. Blood samples MAY be drawn during hemodialysis.



  1. After a bone marrow biopsy or venipuncture, place the aspirate or blood on a slide.
  2. Place the Sudan black stain on the slide and examine it under a microscope.


Postprocedure Care

  1. See Bone marrow aspiration analysis—Specimen.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. See Bone marrow aspiration analysis—Specimen.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Inadequate specimen amounts may produce inaccurate results.


Other Data

  1. Lymphocytes, plasma cells, and lymphoblasts, because they do not hold the Sudan black stain, are called “sudanophilic cells.”
  2. Myeloblasts, though they do not stain with Wright's stain, may stain with Sudan black stain.