Association between Nuclear Morphometry Parameters and Gleason Grade in Patients with Prostatic Cancer

Kamil Malshy, Gilad E. Amiel, Dov Hershkovitz, Edmond Sabo, Azik Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Gleason scoring system remains the pathological method of choice for prostate cancer (Pca) grading. However, this method of tumor tissue architectural structure grading is still affected by subjective assessment and might succumb to several disadvantages, mainly inter-observer variability. These limitations might be diminished by determining characteristic cellular heterogeneity parameters which might improve Gleason scoring homogeneity. One of the quantitative tools of tumor assessment is the morphometric characterization of tumor cell nuclei. We aimed to test the relationship between various morphometric measures and the Gleason score assigned to different prostate cancer samples. Materials and Methods: We reviewed 60 prostate biopsy samples performed at a tertiary uro-oncology center. Each slide was assigned a Gleason grade according to the International Society of Urological Pathology contemporary grading system by a single experienced uro-pathologist. Samples were assigned into groups from grades 3 to 5. Next, the samples were digitally scanned (×400 magnification) and sampled on a computer using Image-Pro-Plus software©. Manual segmentation of approximately 100 selected tumor cells per sample was performed, and a computerized measurement of 54 predetermined morphometric properties of each cell nuclei was recorded. These characteristics were used to compare the pathological group grades assigned to each specimen. Results: Initially, of the 54 morphometric parameters evaluated, 38 were predictive of Gleason grade (p < 0.05). On multivariate analysis, 7 independent parameters were found to be discriminative of different Pca grades: minimum radius shape, intensity—minimal gray level, intensity—maximal gray level, character—gray level (green), character—gray level (blue), chromatin color, fractal dimension, and chromatin texture. A formula to predict the presence of Gleason grade 3 vs. grades 4 or 5 was developed (97.2% sensitivity, 100% specificity). Discussion: The suggested morphometry method based on seven selected parameters is highly sensitive and specific in predicting Gleason score ≥ 4. Since discriminating Gleason score 3 from ≥4 is essential for proper treatment selection, this method might be beneficial in addition to standard pathological tissue analysis in reducing variability among pathologists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1356
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Gleason grade
  • cell morphometry
  • prostate cancer


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