Evaluating mitotic activity in canine and feline solid tumors: standardizing the parameter

Biotech Histochem. 1999 Mar;74(2):64-76. doi: 10.3109/10520299909066480.


Three different methods for evaluating mitotic activity (mitotic count, mitoses/area, mitotic index) were applied to different types of canine and feline solid tumors to determine the method that is most objective and correlates best with other parameters of cell proliferation. Mitotic activity was evaluated on toluidine blue stained histological sections. Slides stained with histochemical (AgNOR proteins) and immunohistochemical (MIB1, PCNA) markers of cell proliferation were available for each case. Quantitation of mitotic activity and cell proliferation parameters was performed with an image analyzer. Mitotic activity assessment was compared with cell proliferation indices and its ability to discriminate tumors grouped on histologically based criteria including the histological type, malignant or benign characteristics, and grade. A significant correlation by linear regression analysis with other parameters assessing cell proliferation revealed that mitotic index correlated 1000% and mitoses/area and mitotic count correlated 40% of the time. In discriminating the proliferative activity of tumors grouped by histological criteria, mitotic index and mitotic count revealed 1000% concordance with the other parameters of cell proliferation, while mitoses/areas showed 80% concordance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Lymphoma
  • Male
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / pathology
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / parasitology
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Silver Nitrate
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tolonium Chloride


  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tolonium Chloride
  • Silver Nitrate