A quantitative histomorphometric comparison of 40 micron thick Paragon® sections with 5 micron thick goldner sections in the study of undecalcified bone

  • Arnold J. Felsenfeld
  • John M. Harrelson
  • Robert A. Gutman
Clinical Investigations


The value of quantitative histomorphometric analysis of undecalcified stained sections of bone is widely recognized. Five micron thick sections have been regarded as essential to carry out this analysis, but their production requires expensive equipment. Our laboratory was equipped initially only for the production of Paragon®-stained 40µm thick sections. These thicker sections have been used traditionally to guide the planimetric analysis of microradiographs. However, we found that they could be used for the simpler eyepiece graticule histomorphometric analysis in the same way that 5µm sections have been examined. Sequential sections from iliac bone biopsy of 12 different patients with renal osteodystrophy were examined using each method. For 7 histologic features, the analysis of the thick sections compared very well with that of the Goldner-stained thin sections. The correlation coefficients varied from 0.88 for osteoid volume to 0.99 for osteoid surface. Other features compared included active and inactive osteoclastic surface activity. Further evidence of the usefulness of these thicker sections come from three other analyses. The expected close coupling of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity was demonstrated (N=56,r=0.87,P<0.001). For 19 additional patients, two forms of histologic evidence of the degree of hyperparathyroidism correlated very well with the measured immunoreactive PTH (r=0.93 and 0.93). Finally, normal values obtained with our method compare favorably with published normal values.

Key words

Osteoclast Osteoblast Trabecular bone Endosteal fibrosis Osteoid 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold J. Felsenfeld
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • John M. Harrelson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Robert A. Gutman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.The Durham and Oklahoma City Veterans Administration Medical CentersUSA
  2. 2.The Division of Nephrology and Department of PathologyDuke University and University of Oklahoma Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.The Division of Nephrology and Department of PathologyDuke University and University of Oklahoma Medical CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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