July 25, 2023

DIF stands for direct immunofluorescence. It is a test that pathologists perform to look for specific proteins in a tissue sample. Unlike most tissue samples, which are examined using normal light, DIF tissue samples are examined using fluorescent light. This makes it easier for pathologists to see exactly where in the tissue sample the proteins of interest are located. DIF is commonly used to look for abnormal proteins in skin and kidney biopsies.

Direct immunofluorescence (DIF). This picture shows an example of direct immunofluorescence for a protein called IgG in the kidney. The proteins appear bright green.

About this article

Doctors wrote this article to help you read and understand your pathology report. Contact us with any questions about this article or your pathology report. Read this article for a more general introduction to the parts of a typical pathology report.

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Atlas of Pathology
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