Comparison of DNA ploidy and nuclear size, shape and chromatin irregularity in tissue sections and smears of prostatic carcinoma

J. I. Epstein, W. N. Christensen, G. D. Steinberg, H. B. Carter

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Image analysis measurements of nuclear size, shape, texture and DNA ploidy were compared in smears versus the corresponding 4-μm tissue sections, both prepared from radical prostatectomy specimens obtained from resections for prostatic cancer. Thirty-nine cases (78%) showed concordant DNA histograms between the smear and the tissue section. In six cases (12%), both preparations were nondiploid, but a tetraploid population was also present in one, but not both, of the preparations. In five cases (10%), there was a major discordance between the smear and the tissue section, with one preparation diploid and the other nondiploid. One source of discrepancy between the smear and tissue histograms was the overlapping of larger nuclei in tissue sections, which often precluded the analysis of the most atypical cells. Some tissue histograms were difficult to interpret due to wide coefficients of variation, irregular peaks and some shift from 2n in the diploid peaks. The best morphometric correlation (0.78) between the smears and the tissue sections was for the modal nuclear shape. Nuclear size and texture measurements showed poorer correlations. These findings suggest that cytologic preparations of prostatic carcinoma should be preferred for image analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 12 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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