Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 71, Issue 1–2, pp 130–135 | Cite as

Histopathological diagnosis of brain tumours with the help of a computer: mathematical fundaments and practical application

  • J. R. Iglesias
  • F. Pfannkuch
  • C. Aruffo
  • E. Kazner
  • J. Cervos-Navarro
Original Works


With the help of a personal computer we have subjected 1684 tumours of the central and peripheral nervous systems to a discriminant analysis to test whether the different brain tumours can be classified. By ascribing a coefficient value which belongs to a linear function to the objective criteria for each tumour these can be ordered in groups, and a classification is then possible. This has been termed discriminant analysis. Fifty histological characteristics were the criteria taken into consideration for each tumour. By using Bayes' formula with a correction for binomial distribution we obtained a correct diagnosis in 98% of the cases studied. The differential diagnosis with its percentage of probabilities is given by the computer. The mathematical fundaments are given. The valuability and precision of this method are discussed.

Key words

Brain tumours Histopathology Data-processing in medicine Computer assistance Discriminant analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bairati A (1962) Nature et structure submicroscopique des fibres gliales chez l'homme. In: Jacob H (ed) Elektronenmikroskopie und Zellbiologie. Proceedings of the IV International Congress of Neuropathology, vol 2. Georg Thieme, Stuttgart, pp 38–42Google Scholar
  2. Boulay G du, Price VE (1968) The diagnosis of intracranial tumours assisted by computer. Br J Radiol 41:762–781Google Scholar
  3. Boulay G du, Price VE (1971) Selecting the next neuroradiological investigation with the help of a computer. Br J Radiol 44:416–421Google Scholar
  4. Boulay G du, Teather D, Harling D, Clarke G (1977) Improvement in the computer-assisted diagnosis of cerebral tumours. Br J Radiol 50:849–854Google Scholar
  5. Escudero LF (1977) Reconocimiento de patrones. Paraninfo SA, Madrid, pp 1–688Google Scholar
  6. Gross G (1969) Medizinische Diagnostik. Grundlagen und Praxis. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–218Google Scholar
  7. Henschen F (1955) Tumoren des Zentralnervensystems und seiner Hüllen. In: Scholz W (ed) Handbuch der speziellen pathologischen Anatomie und Histologie, vol 13. Springer, Berlin Göttingen Heidelberg, pp 413–1040Google Scholar
  8. Iglesias JR, Sanchez MJ, Sendra A, Mohnhaupt A (1983) Computer model of archive and diagnosis of brain tumours based on the WHO-classification. EDV Med Biol 14:40–44Google Scholar
  9. Iglesias JR, Kazner E, Aruffo C, Esparza J (1985) CT diagnosis of brain tumours: semiautomatical type-specific diagnosis with the help of a personal computer. Mathematical fundaments and practical application. In: Lemke HU, Rhodes ML, Jaffee CC, Felix R (eds) Computerized assisted radiology. Springer, Berlin, pp 443–448Google Scholar
  10. Iglesias JR, Kazner E, Aruffo C, Esparza J (1986) A model of semiautomatical type-specific diagnosis of brain tumours. Mathematical fundaments and practical application. Br J Radiol (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Jänisch W, Güthert H, Schreiber D (1976) Pathologie der Tumoren des Zentralnervensystems, VEB Gustav Fischer, Jena, pp 17–555Google Scholar
  12. Jellinger K, Machacek E (1982) Rare intracranial tumours in infancy and childhood. In: Voth D, Gutjahr P, Langmaid C (eds) Tumours of the central nervous system in infancy and childhood. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 44–52Google Scholar
  13. Kolberg T, Virnich H, Winkler C (1974) Präoperative Diagnostik hirnorganischer Prozesse mit Hilfe eines Computerprogramms. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 31:23–28Google Scholar
  14. Lange HJ (1969) Möglichkeiten und Grezen der sogenannten Computerdiagnostic. Datenverarb Med 4:2473–2479Google Scholar
  15. Lusted L (1968) Introduction to medical decision making. Pergamon, New York, pp 1–271Google Scholar
  16. Mai N, Hachmann E, Henrich G, Ramon DV, Brinkmann R (1977) Indikationsstellung für zerebrale Angiographie. Entwicklung eines Bayesprogramms zur Entscheidungshilfe. Methods Inf Med 16:45–51Google Scholar
  17. McNeil BJ, Keeler E, Adelstein SJ (1975) Primer of certain elements of medical decision making. N Engl J Med 293:211–215Google Scholar
  18. Peiffer J (1984) Tumoren des Nervensystems. In: Remmele W von (ed) Pathologie. 4. Neuropathologie, Sinnesorgane, Muskulatur, Angeborene Stoffwechselkrankheiten. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York Tokyo, pp 247–287Google Scholar
  19. Rioux P, Nakache JP (1979) Discriminant analysis. Methods and Program. Comput Programs Biomed 10:43–47Google Scholar
  20. Rotte KH (1979) Zur Anwendung der computergestützten Röntgendiagnostik in der Onkologie. Arch Geschwulstforsch 49:347–356Google Scholar
  21. Rubinstein LJ (1972) Tumours of the central nervous system. Atlas of tumor pathology, 2nd Series, Fasc 6. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC, pp 1–400Google Scholar
  22. Scholman HJ, Pfannkuch F, Iglesias JR, Brinnel Chr (1984) Microcomputer als Hilfsmittel in der Zytologischen Diagnostik und bei Erstellung von Befundberichten. Verh Dtsch Ges Pathol 68:428Google Scholar
  23. Schröder R, Müller W, Bonis G, Vorreith M (1970) Statistische Beiträge zum Grading der Gliome. III. Astrozytome und Oligodendrogliome. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 23:1–29Google Scholar
  24. Späth H (1977) Cluster-Analyse-Algorithmen zur Objektklassifizierung und Datenreduktion. R. Oldenburg, München Wien, pp 9–217Google Scholar
  25. Steinhausen D, Langer K (1977) Clusteranalyse. Einführung in Methoden und Verfahren der automatischen Klassifikation. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, pp 11–206Google Scholar
  26. Stewart A, Cala LA (1975) Mathematical method to utilize a computer for diagnosis of site and type of intracerebral mass lesions. Br J Radiol 48:97–100Google Scholar
  27. Virnich H, Kolberg T, Winckler C (1975) CEDI — ein Computerprogramm zur präoperativen Artdiagnostik hirnorganischer Prozesse. Methods Inf Med 14:19–25Google Scholar
  28. Willis K, Boulay GH de, Teather B (1981) Initial findings in the computer-aided diagnosis of cerebral tumours using CT scan results. Br J Radiol 54:948–952Google Scholar
  29. Willis K, Teather D, Boulay GH du (1982) An improvement in computer-aided diagnosis of meningiomas after CT. Neuroradiology 22:255–257Google Scholar
  30. Zülch KJ (1956) Handbuch der Neurochirurgie. Biologie und Pathologie der Hirngeschwülste, vol 3. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–702Google Scholar
  31. Zülch KJ (1981) Historical development of the classification of brain tumours and the new proposal of the World Health Organization (WHO). Neurosurg Rev 4:123–127Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Iglesias
    • 1
  • F. Pfannkuch
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. Aruffo
    • 4
  • E. Kazner
    • 1
  • J. Cervos-Navarro
    • 4
  1. 1.Neurosurgical ClinicUniversity Clinic CharlottenburgBerlin 65
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity Clinic CharlottenburgBerlin 65
  3. 3.Rudolf-Virchow-Hospital of the Free University BerlinBerlin 65
  4. 4.Institute of NeuropathologyUniversity Clinic Steglitz, Free University BerlinBerlin

Personalised recommendations