Quantitative morphology in canine cutaneous soft tissue sarcomas

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Stained cytological specimens from 24 dogs with spontaneous soft tissue sarcomas [fibrosarcoma (n = 8), liposarcoma (n = 8) and haemangiopericytoma (n = 8)], and 24 dogs with reactive connective tissue lesions [granulation tissue (n = 12) and dermal fibrosis (n = 12)] were analysed by computer-assisted nuclear morphometry. The studied morphometric parameters were: mean nuclear area (MNA; μm2), mean nuclear perimeter (MNP; μm), mean nuclear diameter (MND mean; μm), minimum nuclear diameter (Dmin; μm) and maximum nuclear diameter (Dmax; μm). The study aimed to evaluate (1) possibility for quantitative differentiation of soft tissue sarcomas from reactive connective tissue lesions and (2) by using cytomorphometry, to differentiate the various histopathological soft tissue sarcomas subtypes in dogs. The mean values of all nuclear cytomorphometric parameters (except for Dmax) were statistically significantly higher in reactive connective tissue processes than in soft tissue sarcomas. At the same time, however, there were no considerable differences among the different sarcoma subtypes. The results demonstrated that the quantitative differentiation of reactive connective tissue processes from soft tissue sarcomas in dogs is possible, but the same was not true for the different canine soft tissue sarcoma subtypes. Further investigations on this topic are necessary for thorough explication of the role of quantitative morphology in the diagnostics of mesenchymal neoplasms and tumour-like fibrous lesions in dogs

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