Whole Slide Image Cytometry: a Novel Method for the Detection and Quantification of Abnormal DNA Contents in Barrett’s Oesophagus

Yinhai Wang, Damian McManus, Kenneth Arthur, Brian T Johnston, Helen Coleman, Liam Murray, Peter Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Barrett's oesophagus (BO) is a well recognized precursor of the majority of cases of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC). Endoscopic surveillance of BO patients is frequently undertaken in an attempt to detect early OAC, high grade dysplasia (HGD) or low grade dysplasia (LGD). However histological interpretation and grading of dysplasia is subjective and poorly reproducible. The alternative flow cytometry and cytology-preparation image cytometry techniques require large amounts of tissue and specialist expertise which are not widely available for frontline health care.
Methods: This study has combined whole slide imaging with DNA image cytometry, to provide a novel method for the detection and quantification of abnormal DNA contents. 20 cases were evaluated, including 8 Barrett's specialised intestinal metaplasia (SIM), 6 LGD and 6 HGD. Feulgen stained oesophageal sections (1µm thickness) were digitally scanned in their entirety and evaluated to select regions of interests and abnormalities. Barrett’s mucosa was then interactively chosen for automatic nuclei segmentation where irrelevant cell types are ignored. The combined DNA content histogram for all selected image regions was then obtained. In addition, histogram measurements, including 5c exceeding ratio (xER-5C), 2c deviation index (2cDI) and DNA grade of malignancy (DNA-MG), were computed.
Results: The histogram measurements, xER-5C, 2cDI and DNA-MG, were shown to be effective in differentiating SIM from HGD, SIM from LGD, and LGD from HGD. All three measurements discriminated SIM from HGD cases successfully with statistical significance (pxER-5C=0.0041, p2cDI=0.0151 and pDNA-MG=0.0057). Statistical significance is also achieved differentiating SIM from LGD samples with pxER-5C=0.0019, p2cDI=0.0023 and pDNA-MG=0.0030. Furthermore the differences between LGD and HGD cases are statistical significant (pxER-5C=0.0289, p2cDI=0.0486 and pDNA-MG=0.0384).
Conclusion: Whole slide image cytometry is a novel and effective method for the detection and quantification of abnormal DNA content in BO. Compared to manual histological review, this proposed method is more objective and reproducible. Compared to flow cytometry and cytology-preparation image cytometry, the current method is low cost, simple to use and only requires a single 1µm tissue section. Whole slide image cytometry could assist the routine clinical diagnosis of dysplasia in BO, which is relevant for future progression risk to OAC.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2013
EventPathology Vision 2013 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: 29 Sep 201302 Oct 2013


ConferencePathology Vision 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


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