Quantity of AgNOR in gastric endocrine carcinoid tumours as a potential prognostic tool


In order to assess if the quantity of silver-stained nucleolar organizer region (AgNOR) proteins represents a prognostic tool in gastric carcinoids, a standardised AgNOR analysis was performed on 24 samples collected from the pathology archives of the Universities of Messina and Parma; the samples were taken at surgery from 11 males and 13 females (mean age 55 yrs, age range 28-77 yrs); 13 cases were defined as Type I, 1 case as Type II and 10 cases as Type III; 16 cases showed a diameter <1 cm, 8 >1 cm. Only 6 tumours were deeply invasive, breaking through the muscularis propria or the subserosa. The proliferative status of carcinoids performed by Ki67 protein antibodies was available in 20/24 cases. The quantification of AgNORs was performed according to the guidelines of the Committee on AgNOR Quantification and the mean area (?m2) of AgNORs per nucleus (NORA) was determined by means of image analyser and specific software programs. The relationship between NORA values and Ki67 data was investigated by Spearman correlation test. The mean NORA value of all 24 gastric carcinoids was 1.279 ?m2 (SD 0.404); values ranged from 0.734 to 2.142 ?m2. A significantly higher (p<0.001) mean NORA value (1.736 ?m2; SD 0.283) was found in tumours larger than 1 cm, in comparison to the smaller neoplasms (1.051 ?m2; SD 0.214); moreover, cases showing deep wall invasion exhibited a mean NORA value of 1.765 ?m2 (SD 0.276), significantly higher (p<0.001) than those with superficial growth (1.118 ?m2; SD 0.296). Finally, a similar highly significant difference was seen between type III carcinoids (1.615 ?m2; SD 0.375) and type I-II (1.040 ?m2; SD 0.208). A linear relationship between Ki67 and corresponding NORA values was obtained by the Spearman correlation test (p=0.001). No other significant correlations were found between mean NORA values and other clinico-pathological parameters. The AgNOR method seems to be an additional tool potentially able to predict the prognosis of this kind of endocrine tumour, facilitating the identification of fast-growing tumours and being able to directly correlate with the size, deep invasion of gastric wall and tumour type, generally considered as the best prognostic indicators.



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How to Cite
GiuffrèG., Mormandi, F., Barresi, V., Bordi, C., Tuccari, G., & Barresi, G. (2009). Quantity of AgNOR in gastric endocrine carcinoid tumours as a potential prognostic tool. European Journal of Histochemistry, 50(1), 45-50. https://doi.org/10.4081/974

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