Analyzing renal glomeruli with the new stereology

Int Rev Cytol. 1995;161:111-72. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(08)62497-3.


The highly specialized architecture of the renal glomerulus is altered in a variety of disease states. Morphometric methods, including stereological methods, have been widely used to analyze these changes in both animal and human glomeruli. However, many of the methods available until recently were biased and provided incomplete information. The past few years have witnessed the development of a new generation of unbiased stereological methods. Another advantage of these new methods and strategies is that they are less influenced by technical artifacts than the traditional methods. This chapter describes how these new stereological methods can be used to quantify glomerular morphology. Parameters considered include glomerular number and volume; glomerular cell number and size; and the length, surface area, and number of glomerular capillaries. Methods for obtaining data for average glomeruli as well as individual glomeruli are described. Technical details are included wherever possible.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / anatomy & histology
  • Dissection / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / anatomy & histology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / blood supply
  • Mathematics