Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Cytol. 1994 May-Jun;38(3):341-6.

Nuclear shape and axillary metastases in breast cancer. Analytic morphometry of aspiration smears.

Author information

Institute of Pathological Anatomy, University of Bari, Italy.


The aim of this work was to seek quantitative parameters other than dimensions to describe nuclear shape and, by this means, to determine the sum of contour irregularities and large asymmetries and seek a connection with the biologic behavior of the tumor. Nuclei of the cells obtained from 57 aspiration smears of breast cancers were studied. Dimensional parameters (area, perimeter, maximum diameter and roundness factor) and analytic parameters were computed by the Shape Analytical Morphometry software system to evaluate both contour irregularities and asymmetry of nuclear shape. All the tumors were subdivided according to their diameters into two groups: T1 tumors, the maximum diameter of which was < 2 cm (18 cases), and T2 tumors, the maximum diameter of which was > 2 cm and < 5 cm (39 cases). Among T1 tumors, both dimensional and analytic parameters were highly significant (P < .001) in distinguishing tumors with (N+) and tumors without (N-) axillary metastases, while among larger tumors (T2) only the analytic parameters showed degrees of significance, albeit variable. It could be inferred that in smaller tumors, aggressiveness is related to an increase in nuclear dimensions and shape distortions more so than in larger tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center