Karyometry Identifies a Distinguishing Fallopian Tube Epithelium Phenotype in Subjects at High Risk for Ovarian Cancer

Samantha J. Russell, Gustavo C. Rodriguez, Michael Yozwiak, Charmi Patel, Melody Maarouf, Hubert G. Bartels, Jennifer K. Barton, Ahyoung Amy Kim, Swetha Atluri, Peter H. Bartels, Hao Helen Zhang, David S. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Many high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas are thought to originate from fallopian tube epithelium. Karyometry detects chromatin abnormalities at the nuclear level using high-resolution computer imaging analyses. This study hypothesizes that karyometry can detect nuclear abnormalities of fallopian tube epithelium in women at high risk as compared to low risk for ovarian cancer. STUDY DESIGN: Fallopian tube tissue from 8 women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 alterations (high risk) and 7 women at normal risk were obtained from the tissue bank at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Tissues were fixed, paraffin embedded, sectioned, and stained, followed by high-resolution imaging and karyometric analysis. RESULTS: The distribution of nuclear features and nuclear signatures in tubes from women at high risk showed a distinct deviation from that of normal risk cases. The two most segregating features in the discriminant function scores (pixel optical density heterogeneity and the number of very dark stained pixels) showed a pronounced shift from normal in high-risk nuclei and represent a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) at the nuclear level. CONCLUSION: Karyometry detected an abnormal morphometric phenotype in nuclei of fallopian tube epithelium from women at high risk for disease as compared to normal controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical and Quantitative Cytopathology and Histopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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