Evaluation of microvessel density by computerised image analysis in human renal cell carcinoma
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- Herbst, C., Kosmehl, H., Stiller, KJ. et al. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol (1998) 124: 141. doi:10.1007/s004320050147
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A high microvessel density is suspected to favour tumour progression and the occurrence of metastasis. To elucidate the significance of abundant vessels for the behaviour of human renal carcinomas, the microvessel density of 110 renal cell carcinomas was correlated to pT category, nuclear grade, proliferative activity, occurrence of metastasis and relapse-free survival interval. The microvessels were quantified using CD31 immunostaining of endothelial cells and computer-aided image analysis. The rules for reproducible microvessel counting, as defined by Weidner, were strictly observed. A statistically significant relationship between the microvessel density and nuclear grade, proliferative activity, occurrence of metastasis and relapse-free survival was found; only for tumour size could no such relation be seen. Perplexingly, there is a diminution of microvessel density in association with increasing nuclear grade, proliferative activity, relapse-free survival interval and frequency of metastasis. This finding is contradictory to the hypothesis that an increasing microvessel density indicates a worsening prognosis.
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