The prognostic value of using histological typing, grading, and morphology, in addition to clinical staging, was assessed in 98 cases of invasive ovarian cancer of the common epithelial types (serous, mucinous, and endometrial). All of these cases had at least five years of follow up. When regression analysis was used, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics' (FIGO) staging system was the best indicator for prognosis. Analysis of a combination of morphometric features was the second best indicator, being especially useful for the those patients with stage I disease. Variables that indicated a relatively poor prognostic outcome were mitotic index above 30; volume percentage epithelium above 65%; shortest nuclear axis above a mean of 1 X 1 micrometers. Histological typing of ovarian tumours was of limited value; mucinous tumours have a somewhat better prognosis than serous tumours, but the prognostic value of typing alone was found to be limited. Qualitative histological grading was useful, but the prognostic value of morphometric grading was better. Measurement of morphological features with an interactive computer program is simple and can be done by a pathologist or a technician: in future it is likely that such automated systems of measurement will improve the objectivity of tissue analysis.
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