The development of squamous cell metaplasia in human bronchial epithelium by light microscopic morphometry

J. F. Bertram, A. W. Rogers

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Bronchial biopsies from ten subjects, including five smokers, have been examined using light microscopic morphometry. The biopsies were free from identifiable disease. Using manual point counting and a Quantimet 720 image analysing computer, a number of parameters were measured. Computer‐based cluster analysis of seven of these parameters associated the subjects into three groups: visual inspection of the sections achieved the same separation. Four subjects (non‐smokers) had normal epithelia: four subjects (one non‐smoker, three smokers) showed mucous cell hyperplasia: two subjects (smokers) had squamous cell metaplasia. Three parameters in conjunction contained sufficient information to characterize accurately the histological appearance of the epithelia: the epithelial thickness, the volume density of intracellular mucus and the number of nuclear profiles per unit area of sectioned epithelium. Reduction of these three parameters to a linear plot closely approximated a similar reduction of the original seven parameters. These three parameters can be measured rapidly, either manually or by the Quantimet. The linear representation of these parameters provides a reproducible and objective basis for comparing specimens of bronchial epithelium. 1981 Blackwell Science Ltd

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes

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