Correlation of nuclear morphometry with pathologic parameters in ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast

Mod Pathol. 2001 Oct;14(10):937-41. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880415.


Morphometric features of nuclear perimeter, nuclear area, feret ratio, and feret circle were studied in a series of 64 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast in Singapore women. The results were compared with pathologic parameters of tumor size, nuclear grade, necrosis, cell polarization, and architectural pattern. There was statistically significant correlation between nuclear perimeter and area with all the pathologic parameters, with the strongest association observed for nuclear grade (P <.0001). Higher grade nuclei as assessed histologically were associated with larger nuclear area (44.14 microm(2) in low-grade lesions, 47.77 microm(2) in intermediate-grade lesions, and 72.05 microm(2) in high-grade lesions) and perimeter (25.94 microm in low-grade nuclei, 27.12 microm in intermediate-grade nuclei, and 33.66 microm in high-grade nuclei). DCIS lesions with necrosis and absence of polarization also revealed increased nuclear area and perimeter (P <.05). Comedo architecture was associated with larger nuclear area and perimeter (65.97 microm(2), 31.7 microm) than the papillary subtype (42.17 microm(2), 25.29 microm), with the mixed morphologic pattern disclosing intermediate values (54.83 microm(2), 29.43 microm). There was direct correlation for tumor size with nuclear area and perimeter (P <.01). No similar relationship was found between pathologic parameters and feret ratio or circle, indicating that nuclear roundness or lack of it did not factor as a significant component in the pathologic assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology*
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Middle Aged
  • Statistics as Topic