Evaluation of cell proliferation in breast carcinoma. Comparison of Ki-67 immunohistochemical study, DNA flow cytometric analysis, and mitotic count

Cancer. 1990 Mar 1;65(5):1180-4. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19900301)65:5<1180::aid-cncr2820650525>3.0.co;2-7.


Growth kinetics of 102 breast carcinomas were studied by immunohistochemical analysis with the monoclonal antibody Ki-67, which reacts with a nuclear antigen in proliferating cells. The results were correlated with ploidy and S-phase fraction (SPF) analyzed by DNA flow cytometric study and with mitotic count analyzed by light microscopic study. The proportion of Ki-67-positive cells (Ki-67 score) in breast carcinomas varied from 0.6% to 80% (median, 6.3%). Ki-67 scores were significantly higher in the DNA aneuploid than in the DNA diploid tumors. Ki-67 scores correlated significantly with tumor SPF in DNA aneuploid tumors. In DNA diploid tumors SPF showed no correlation with Ki-67 score. High Ki-67 scores were associated with high mitotic counts (P less than 0.0001) and histologic grade (P less than 0.0001). Nuclear pleomorphism, tubule formation, or lymph node status were not correlated with Ki-67 score. In conclusion, Ki-67 immunostaining correlates with other measures of cell proliferation (SPF, mitotic count) supporting its clinical significance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitotic Index
  • Ploidies


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DNA, Neoplasm