Morphometric determination of AgNORs in breast carcinoma: Correlation with flow cytometry and proliferating cell nuclear antigen

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship beween argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs), ploidy and proliferative activity in breast carcinomas, STUDY DESIGN: AgNOR staining was performed in 25 cases of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast, and several features were quantified by image analysis: nuclear area, mean value of the number of AgNORs (MNAg), area of AgNORs (AAg), area of AgNOR per nucleus (AAg/N), AAg variance (AAgV) and coefficient of variation of AgNOR area per nucleus (CVAAg/N). These findings were correlated with ploidy and proliferative activity obtained by flow cytometry, also quantifying the latter with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Comparison of AgNORs with size of the tumor and lymph node status was also made RESULTS: We observed a good correlation between MNAg and AAg with ploidy (P<.001), MNAg and AAg with S- phase fraction (SPF) (P < .001), AAg with S+G2M (P<.02) and PCNA with MNAg (P <.05). The mean value of AAg allowed division of the cases into two groups: diploid (D) and near diploid (ND) with low SPF (AAg < = 2.50 μm2), and D and ND with high SPF and aneuploidy (A) (AAg>2.50 μm2) (P < .05). There was a statistically significant correlation between M NAg and AAg and between tumor size and lymph node metastases (P < .05). CONCLUSION: AgNORs correlate with various cell cycle and clinicopathologic features and will be used eventually as prognostic markers in breast cancer.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Cellular Oncology  Journal
  • Author List

  • Bellotti M; Elsner B; Kahn A; Bezodnick L; Pisilli L; Greco P
  • Start Page

  • 139
  • End Page

  • 144
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 2