A comparison of imaging software and conventional cell counting in determining melanocyte density in photodamaged control sample and melanoma in situ biopsies. Journal Article


Authors: Coakley, A; Orlowski, TJ; Muhlbauer, A; Moy, L; Speiser, JJ
Article Title: A comparison of imaging software and conventional cell counting in determining melanocyte density in photodamaged control sample and melanoma in situ biopsies.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Objective methods for distinguishing melanoma in situ (MIS) from photodamaged skin (PS) are needed to guide treatment in patients with melanocytic proliferations. Melanocyte density (MD) could serve as an objective histopathological criterion in difficult cases. Calculating MD via manual cell counts (MCC) with immunohistochemical (IHC)-stained slides has been previously published. However, the clinical application of this method is questionable, as quantification of MD via MCC on difficult cases is time consuming, especially in high volume practices. METHODS: ImageJ is an image processing software that uses scanned slide images to determine cell count. In this study, we compared MCC to ImageJ calculated MD in microphthalmia transcription factor-IHC stained MIS biopsies and control PS acquired from the same patients. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant difference in MD between PS and MIS as measured by both MCC and ImageJ software (P 0.01). Additionally, no statistically significant difference was found when comparing MD measurements recorded by ImageJ vs those determined by the MCC method. CONCLUSION: MD as determined by ImageJ strongly correlates with the MD calculated by MCC. We propose the use of ImageJ as a time-efficient, objective, and reproducible tool to assess MD.
Journal Title: Journal of cutaneous pathology
ISSN: 1600-0560; 0303-6987
Publisher: Wiley Periodicals, Inc  
Date Published: 2020