Histological sections of adenomatous polyps of the colon showing carcinoma were studied by video image analysis. Nuclear DNA content and morphology were measured in regions identified as either dysplasia, carcinoma confined to the mucosa, or carcinoma invading the muscularis mucosa. Where carcinoma was present, areas of dysplasia in the same polyp were found to have similar distributions of nuclear DNA content and size, supporting the notion that adenomatous polyps becomes cancer. The method can be used to detect those regions in sections of adenomatous polyps with the most severe nuclear abnormality.
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