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The Korean Journal of Cytopathology 1996;7(1): 23-30.
A study of Digital Image Analysis of Chromatin Texture for Discrimination of Thyroid Neoplastic Cells.
Sang Woo Juhng, Jae Hyuk Lee, Eun Kyung Bum, Chang Won Kim
1Department of Pathology, Chonnam University, Medical School, Korea.
2Department of Pediatridcs, Chonnam University, Medical School, Korea.
3Department of Electronics, Kwangju University, College of Engineering, Korea.
Chromatin texture, which partly reflects nuclear organization, is evolving as an important parameter indicating cell activation or transformation. In this study, chromatin pattern was evaluated by image analysis of the electron micrographs of follicular and papillary carcinoma cells of the thyroid gland and tested for discrimination of the two neoplasms. Digital grey images were converted from the electron micrographs; nuclear images, excluding nucleolus and intranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions, were obtained by segmentation; grey levels were standardized; and grey level histograms were generated. The histograms in follicular carcinoma showed Gaussian or near-Gaussian distribution and had a single peak, whereas those in papillary carcinoma had two peaks(bimodal), one at the black zone and the other at the white zone. In papillary carcinoma. the peak in the black zone represented an increased amount of heterochromatin particles and that at the white zone represented decreased electron density of euchromatin or nuclear matrix. These results indicate that the nuclei of follicular and papillary carcinoma cells differ intheir chromatin pattern and the difference may be due to decondensed chromatin and/or matrix substances.
Key Words: Chromatin texture; Follicular carcinoma; Papillary carcinoma; Gaussian distribution; Image analysis
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