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To evaluate a patient’s stool sample for the presence of fecal leukocytes.


Freshly collected liquid stool specimen, glass microscope slide, coverslip, and methylene blue.


  1. Place a drop of liquid stool onto the glass slide.

  2. Add two drops of methylene blue to the stool specimen.

  3. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Overlay with a coverslip.

  5. Place the edge of a piece of filter paper adjacent to the coverslip to absorb any excess methylene blue.

  6. Examine using ×10 objective to scan specimen and ×40 and ×100 to identify specific leukocytes.

FIGURE 25.20

Fecal Leukocytes. Multiple white cells in the stool specimen from a patient with bacterial diarrhea. (Photo contributor: Herbert L. DuPont, MD.)

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