Digital image analysis allows quantification of nuclear DNA content. It may help distinguish between benign and malignant strictures of the biliary tract.
Doctors from the United States evaluated 110 consecutive patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiography for suspicious biliary tract strictures.
|The accuracy of digital image analysis was 56%.|
|Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
They compared the accuracy of digital image analysis and routine cytology.
The team performed standard brush cytology sampling twice, using 2 cytology brushes per patient. Both brushes were fixed in a single-specimen vial.
Samples were evaluated by digital image analysis and routine cytology.
The team generated DNA histograms were generated for ploidy analysis. The digital image analysis criterion for malignancy was demonstration of aneuploidy.
Of the 110 patients, 100 were evaluated.
The team found that 56 patients had malignant strictures, and 44 benign.
The doctors determined that the sensitivities of digital image analysis and routine cytology were 39% and 18%, respectively. They found that the specificities were 77% and 98%, respectively.
The team calculated that the accuracy of digital image analysis was 56%, equivalent to that of routine cytology (53%).
Dr Todd Baron and colleagues concluded, "Digital image analysis is a valuable adjunct to routine cytology for detecting malignant strictures of the biliary tract".