Computerized Calculation of Mitotic Count Distribution in Canine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumor Sections: Mitotic Count Is Area Dependent.

Bertram, Christof A; Aubreville, Marc; Gurtner, Corinne; Bartel, Alexander; Corner, Sarah M; Dettwiler, Martina; Kershaw, Olivia; Noland, Erica L; Schmidt, Anja; Sledge, Dodd G; Smedley, Rebecca C; Thaiwong, Tuddow; Kiupel, Matti; Maier, Andreas; Klopfleisch, Robert (2020). Computerized Calculation of Mitotic Count Distribution in Canine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumor Sections: Mitotic Count Is Area Dependent. Veterinary pathology, 57(2), pp. 214-226. Sage 10.1177/0300985819890686

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Mitotic count (MC) is an important element for grading canine cutaneous mast cell tumors (ccMCTs) and is determined in 10 consecutive high-power fields with the highest mitotic activity. However, there is variability in area selection between pathologists. In this study, the MC distribution and the effect of area selection on the MC were analyzed in ccMCTs. Two pathologists independently annotated all mitotic figures in whole-slide images of 28 ccMCTs (ground truth). Automated image analysis was used to examine the ground truth distribution of the MC throughout the tumor section area, which was compared with the manual MCs of 11 pathologists. Computerized analysis demonstrated high variability of the MC within different tumor areas. There were 6 MCTs with consistently low MCs (MC<7 in all tumor areas), 13 cases with mostly high MCs (MC ≥7 in ≥75% of 10 high-power field areas), and 9 borderline cases with variable MCs around 7, which is a cutoff value for ccMCT grading. There was inconsistency among pathologists in identifying the areas with the highest density of mitotic figures throughout the 3 ccMCT groups; only 51.9% of the counts were consistent with the highest 25% of the ground truth MC distribution. Regardless, there was substantial agreement between pathologists in detecting tumors with MC ≥7. Falsely low MCs below 7 mainly occurred in 4 of 9 borderline cases that had very few ground truth areas with MC ≥7. The findings of this study highlight the need to further standardize how to select the region of the tumor in which to determine the MC.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Gurtner, Corinne, Dettwiler, Martina Andrea


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pamela Schumacher

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2020 15:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:36

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

area selection high-power field mitotic activity mitotic figure distribution tumor grading tumor periphery




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