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Microvasc Res. 2013 Sep;89:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 May 4.

Microvascular morphometrics of the hypophysis and pituitary tumors: from bench to operating theatre.

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  • 1Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The idea that microvasculature might be a histopathological biomarker in the prognosis and treatment of tumors is garnering even more attention in the scientific community. The roles of neovascularity in tumor progression and metastasis, have become a hot-topic of investigation in cancer research. A number of methods of quantitatively analyzing pituitary adenoma microvasculature have been applied, and fractal analysis is emerging as a potential effective model for this aim. Additionally, new and more specific immunological techniques have been developed for the detection of microvessels. CD105 (Endoglin) has been proposed as a valuable antigen that marks only newly formed vessels, rather than the entire tumor microvascular system. The combination of different types of immunostaining techniques for the detection of microvessels in pituitary adenomas with fractal analysis as an objective and computer-aided technique to quantify and describe morphological aspects of microvessels has potential implications in future clinical and surgical applications. Tumor treatments, such as anti-angiogenic therapy, as well as intraoperative tools, stand to be enhanced by increasing advances in microvascular research. We here review the methods used for the quantitative analysis of microvessels of the pituitary in its physiopathological states, with the aim to show the pituitary adenoma as a model for the study of neoplastic angioarchitecture and the importance of the introduction of new techniques for the study of angiogenesis, with the relative scientific, medical and surgical implications.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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