Image cytometric DNA analysis in human breast cancer analysis may add prognostic information in diploid cases with low S-phase fraction by flow cytometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Measurements of DNA ploidy can be performed either with image cytometry (ICM) or flow cytometry (FCM); both methods provide independent prognostic information in primary breast cancer. The aim of the present investigation was to compare the two methods and to relate the findings to prognosis (median follow-up 42 months). Concordance in ploidy status (diploid, tetraploid, aneuploid) was obtained in 76% of the samples (168/222). When the fraction of S-phase cells (SPF) from FCM analysis was also taken into consideration, four different groups of samples were obtained (Flow I-IV), which were considered to correspond to the Auer classification (Auer I-IV) of DNA histograms obtained from image cytometry. Complete concordance between the two techniques now was 70% (155/222). Samples classified as Flow I (diploid or near-diploid with low SPF) and Auer I had a distant metastasis rate of 3/60 (5%), as compared to 62/154 (40%) for all other combinations of the Flow and Auer classifications taken together. Thus, the only findings of prognostic importance were that some samples were Flow I but not Auer I, or vice versa. These two groups represent 17 (7.7%) and 14 (6.3%), respectively, of the total number of samples, and had frequencies of distant metastasis similar to those of the other high-risk groups, namely, 7/17 and 5/14, respectively. In a multivariate analysis, flow cytometric S-phase value was a stronger prognostic factor than either the Flow and Auer classification. We conclude that when routine FCM DNA analysis is used, diploid or near-diploid samples with a low S-phase value should be reanalyzed with ICM.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Ploidy, proliferation, SPF, interphase, image cytometry, breast cancer, prognosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-585
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Oncology, MV (013035000), Pathology, (Lund) (013030000)