Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2011 Jan 30;4(2):169-74. Epub 2011 Jan 30.
Department of Pathology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Osteosarcoma is the most frequent primary malignant bone tumor. Distinct histological features are distinguishable based on the morphology of the tumor. Differences in nuclei size and shape are often observed in osteosarcoma reflecting its broad histopathological heterogeneity. This study explores the relevance of two nuclear parameters in osteosarcoma: large area and round shape. Computerized nuclear morphometry was performed in 56 conventional osteosarcoma preoperative biopsies. The mean patient follow-up time was 35.1 months. Based on the nuclear area, no significant difference (P = 0.09) in overall survival between patients with large (> 42.5 μm(2)) and small (< 42.5 μm(2)) tumor nuclei was found. However, when cases with large and round nuclei were analyzed jointly (> 42.5 μm(2) and coefficient of nuclear roundness > 0.7), these two parameters together were likely to be a predictive factor (P = 0.05). Osteosarcoma patients with large and round tumor nuclei had a better outcome than patients with small and polymorphic (ovoid or spindle-shaped) nuclei. In this study, nuclear morphometry proved to be a useful tool to shed light on the biology of osteosarcoma showing that some morphometric parameters can be easily applied to help identifying patients with a good prognosis.