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Mitotic counts in breast cancer should be standardized with a uniform sample area

Authors: Bonert, Michael; Tate, Angela J.;

Mitotic counts in breast cancer should be standardized with a uniform sample area

Abstract

Background Mitotic rate is routinely assessed in breast cancer cases and based on the assessment of 10 high power fields (HPF), a non-standard sample area, as per the College of American Pathologists cancer checklist. The effect of sample area variation has not been assessed. Methods A computer model making use of the binomial distribution was developed to calculate the misclassification rate in 1,000,000 simulated breast specimens using the extremes of field diameter (FD) and mitotic density cutoffs (3 and 8 mitoses/mm2), and for a sample area of 5 mm2. Mitotic counts were assumed to be a random sampling problem using a mitotic rate distribution derived from an experimental study (range 0–16.4 mitoses/mm2). The cellular density was 2500 cell/mm2. Results For the smallest microscopes (FD = 0.40 mm, area 1.26 mm2) 16% of cases were misclassified, compared to 9% of the largest (FD 0.69 mm, area 3.74 mm2), versus 8% for 5 mm2. An excess of 27% of score 2 cases were misclassified as 1 or 3 for the lower FD. Conclusion Mitotic scores based on ten HPFs of a small field area microscope are less reliable measures of the mitotic density than in a bigger field area microscope; therefore, the sample area should be standardized. When mitotic counts are close to the cut-offs the score is less reproducible. These cases could benefit from using larger sample areas. A measure of mitotic density variation due to sampling may assist in the interpretation of the mitotic score. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12938-016-0301-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Sample (material) Biology Small field Breast cancer Statistics medicine Range (statistics) Sample area Mitosis Cellular density medicine.disease Binomial distribution

Keywords

Biomedical Engineering, Mitosis, Breast Neoplasms, Cell Count, Specimen Handling, Cancer grading, Biomaterials, Breast cancer, Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Computer Simulation, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging, Sampling, Mitotic counting, Microscopy, Radiological and Ultrasound Technology, Research, Reproducibility of Results, General Medicine, Reproducibility, HPF, Female, Simulation

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    19
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Top 10%
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
19
Top 10%
Top 10%
Top 10%
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