Quantification of morphology of canine circumanal gland tumors: a fractal based study

  • I.C. Šoštarić-Zuckermann | isostaric@vef.hr University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • K. Severin University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • M. Huzak University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • M. Hohšteter University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • A. Gudan Kurilj University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • B. Artuković University of Zagreb, Croatia.
  • A. Džaja M–SAN, Croatia.
  • Ž. Grabarević University of Zagreb, Croatia.


Circumanal gland tumors are very common neoplasms of dogs. Their classification relies on microscopic examination and is further supported by a few immunohistochemical markers that help indicate their prognosis. However, new additional tests would be highly useful. The purpose of this study was to develop such a test using fractal analysis which is increasingly being applied in science, especially in the field of biomedicine. A total of 53 circumanal gland tumors were chosen from our department archives. After a precise histological classification according to the World Health Organization classification, the number of de novo classified samples was as follows: 15 adenomas, 11 epitheliomas, 21 well differentiated carcinomas, 6 poorly differentiated carcinomas. Ten samples of normal circumanal gland were also included as control. All samples were immunohistochemicaly stained with vimentin. All immunohistochemical reactions were photographed at two different magnifications -100X and 400X and converted to 1 bit in black and white (bitmap) images thus enhancing the positive vimentin reactions. These images were used for the assessment of fractal dimension applying the box counting method and computer software Fractalyse. To determine the significance of results, conventional statistics were performed using Statistica software. The overall vimentin stain score was significantly higher in epitheliomas and carcinomas than in normal circumanal glands (CG) or adenomas. Mean values of fractal dimension estimated at magnification 100X and 400X were as follows: normal CG 1.318 and 1.372, CG adenomas 1.384 and 1.408, CG epitheliomas 1.547 and 1.597, CG well differentiated carcinomas 1.569 and 1.607, CG poorly differentiated carcinomas 1.679 and 1.723. Significant differences (at level of 5%) of these values were observed between individual groups of CG adenomas or normal CG, and epitheliomas or carcinomas. The above results indicate vimentin immunohistochemistry staining and assessment of fractal dimension as an ancillary diagnostic method of choice when discerning between benign and malignant tumors of circumanal glands. Additional development of the method of fractal dimension assesment may yield a possibility for this tool to successfully discern between all of the types of CG tumors.


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Author Biographies

I.C. Šoštarić-Zuckermann, University of Zagreb

Department of Veterinary Pathology

K. Severin, University of Zagreb
Department of Forensic Veterinary Medicine
M. Huzak, University of Zagreb
Department of Mathematics
A. Gudan Kurilj, University of Zagreb
Department of Veterinary Pathology
B. Artuković, University of Zagreb

Department of Veterinary Pathology

Ž. Grabarević, University of Zagreb

Department of Veterinary Pathology

Original Papers
Supporting Agencies
Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of Croatia
Circumanal gland, circumanal gland tumors, fractal, dog, vimentin, immunohistochemistry.
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How to Cite
Šoštarić-Zuckermann, I., Severin, K., Huzak, M., Hohšteter, M., Gudan Kurilj, A., Artuković, B., Džaja, A., & Grabarević, Ž. (2016). Quantification of morphology of canine circumanal gland tumors: a fractal based study. European Journal of Histochemistry, 60(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2016.2609