The new stereological tools: disector, fractionator, nucleator and point sampled intercepts and their use in pathological research and diagnosis

APMIS. 1988 Oct;96(10):857-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1699-0463.1988.tb00954.x.


The new stereological methods for correct and efficient sampling and sizing of cells and other particles are reviewed. There is a hierarchy of methods starting from the simplest where even the microscopic magnification may be unknown to the most complex where typically both section thickness and the magnification must be known. Optical sections in suitably modified microscopes can be used to improve the ease and speed with which even the most demanding of these methods are performed. The methods are illustrated by practical examples of applications to a wide range of histological entities including synapses, neurons and cancer cells, glomerular corpuscles and ovarian follicles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytological Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Pathology / instrumentation
  • Pathology / methods
  • Stereotaxic Techniques