The Morphological Challenge in Determining Nuclear Size and Shape in Anatomopathological Neoplasia Analysis

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Carlos Alberto Mandarim-de-Lacerda


From 1984 stereology was added to unbiased methods and procedures, i.e., counts became more reliable studying morphological images in a random and uniform isotropic way. Therefore, the orientation and sectioning methods adapted to stereolo- gical quanti cation are essential. A critical quantitative subject in practical pathology concerns diagnosing and classifying neoplasias. Pathologists evaluated different types of tumors by determining the nuclear roundness factor (NRF). NRF is calculated by the ratio between the nuclear radius obtained from the area and the perimeter. However, NRF is biased data because it depends on the sectioning orientation, nuclei shape, and section thickness. The stereology proposed an unbiased alternative to assess the nucleus from tumor cells, counteracting NRF quantitatively. Therefore, the volume-weighted mean nuclear volume has been used to prognostic tumors in several organs. In urology, this was used, for example, to study primary carcinoma of the bladder, renal and prostatic carcinomas.

KEY WORDS: Stereology; Morphometry; Tumor; Nucleus; Pathology.

How to cite this article

MANDARIM-DE-LACERDA, C. A. The morphological challenge in determining nuclear size and shape in anatomopathological neoplasia analysis. Int. J. Morphol., 40(3):683-687, 2022.