Morphometric analysis of endometnal adenocarcinoma? 1. Does architectural dedifferentiation accompany deep invasion by endometrial adenocarcinoma?

Richard J. Zaino, Alice Laskaris, Charles Whitney, Francis E. Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Important prognostic factors for endometrial adenocarcinoma include histologic differentiation, depth of myometrial invasion, and clinical stage. Deep myometrial penetration is more commonly observed with poorly differentiated carcinomas, but it is unknown if these tumors are poorly differentiated de novo, or if selection toward more aggressive, less differentiated cells occurs during invasion. To study this question, we performed a morphometric analysis to quantitate the amount of glandular differentiation in superficial portions of 22 endometrial carcinomas for comparison with deep portions of the same neoplasm. Point counting of randomly selected fields was performed on histologic sections of hysterectomy specimens of 22 women with stage I endometrial adenocarcinoma. The components enumerated were tumor cells participating in gland formation (DI), non-gland-forming tumor cells (UI), tumor gland lumens (LUM), inflammatory cells (IC), and stroma (endometrium or myometrium) (ST). Slides of tumors were divided into superficial, middle, and deep thirds. No statistically significant differences were seen between superficial and deep thirds (UI: 45% vs. 43%; DI: 33% vs. 32%; LUM: 22% vs. 24%; IC: 3% vs. 3% of points counted, p > .1, paired t-test). The density of tumor cells relative to stroma was greater in the superficial region (55% vs. 41%, p < .001, paired t-test). Additionally, field-to-field heterogeneity was examined by four methods. No relationship between increased heterogeneity and poor prognosis was identified. These findings do not support the concept that invasion by endometrial adenocarcinoma is accompanied by architectural dedifferentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma, endometrial
  • Analysis, morphometric
  • Cell differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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