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Hum Pathol. 1998 Apr;29(4):352-8.

Quantitative analysis of microvascular changes in diffuse astrocytic neoplasms with increasing grade of malignancy.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Because glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) frequently shows striking, glomeruloid microvascular proliferation (MVP), this tumor has become a strong candidate for anti-angiogenic therapy. However, the efficacy of anti-angiogenic treatment may rather be determined by the extent of classic angiogenesis with the formation of delicate microvascular sprouts. Therefore, this study differentially quantifies the microvascular changes in supratentorial diffuse astrocytic neoplasms by computerized image analysis of histological sections in which the microvessels were highlighted by a combined anti-collagen IV/MIB-1 staining. Four microvascular parameters (number, area, perimeter, diameter), the cellularity of the glial tissue, and the MIB-1 labeling index were assessed in biopsies of astrocytoma (A, n = 13), anaplastic astrocytoma (AA, n = 14), and GBM (n = 20), and in normal cerebral cortex (n = 7) and white matter (n = 7). In As and AAs, the microvascular parameters were not significantly different from each other, and the microvascular changes were generally limited compared with WM and CX. In contrast, in GBMs the microvascular parameters were highly variable, and their overall mean value was significantly increased compared with As and AAs (ranging from 1.3x for vessel diameter to 3.3x for vessel area). Our study indicates that not only glomeruloid MVP, but also classic angiogenesis, occurs mainly and only locally in GBMs. Thus, this study provides evidence that As and AAs are not good candidates for anti-angiogenic therapy. The efficacy of such therapy for GBMs awaits further evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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