Clinical Oncology/Epidemiology

Microvessel quantification in primary colorectal carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study

Abstract

The vascularisation of human primary colorectal carcinomas was studied immunohistochemically using the endothelial cell markers CD31 and factor VIII-related antigen. Tumour sections were systematically scanned at a magnification of x 100 to find areas of intense neovascularisation. Microvessel counts within these vascular 'hotspots' were performed at magnification x 250. Regions in which tumour cords were surrounded by a collagen IV-positive basement membrane were compared with those in which this was absent and with normal mucosa. CD31 appeared to be a more sensitive marker for endothelial cells than factor VIII-related antigen (mean 185 +/- 59 and 120 +/- 38 microvessels mm-2). Within individual tumour sections microvessel counts in vascular hotspots with highest vessel density correlated significantly with microvessel counts in vascular hotspots with second highest vessel density (P < 0.01). Microvessel counts in tumour areas where collagen IV-positive basement membrane were absent exceeded those in areas where it was present (factor of 1.7) and those in normal mucosa (factor of 1.6). The differences in vessel density between individual tumours and the low variability in vessel density within individual tumours using this quantification technique allow us to investigate the prognostic value of vessel density in areas of intense neovascularisation in human primary colorectal carcinomas.

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Vermeulen, P., Verhoeven, D., Fierens, H. et al. Microvessel quantification in primary colorectal carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study. Br J Cancer 71, 340–343 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1995.68

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