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Quantitative assessment of gastric atrophy using the syntactic structure analysis.
  1. A M Zaitoun,
  2. H al Mardini,
  3. C O Record
  1. Department of Pathology, Mayday University Hospital, Croydon, UK.

    Abstract

    AIM: To assess the topographical relation between gastric glands, using the minimum spanning tree (MST), to derive both a model of neighbourhood and quantitative representation of the tissue's architecture, to assess the characteristic features of gastric atrophy, and to assess the grades of gastric atrophy. METHODS: Haematoxylin and eosin stained sections from corporal and antral biopsy specimens (n = 139) from normal patients and from patients with nonatrophic gastritis and atrophic gastritis of grades 1, 2, and 3 (Sydney system) were assessed by image analysis system (Prodit 5.2) and 11 syntactic structure features were derived. These included both line and connectivity features. RESULTS: Syntactic structure analysis was correlated with the semiquantitative grading system of gastric atrophy. The study showed significant reductions in the number of points and the length of MST in both body and antrum. The standard deviation of the length of MST was significantly increased in all grades of atrophy. The connectivity to two glands was the highest and most affected by the increased grade of atrophy. The reciprocal values of the Wiener, Randic, and Balaban indices showed significant changes in the volume of gland, abnormality in the shape of glands, and changes in irregularity and branching of the glands in both types of gastric mucosa. There was a complete separation in the MST, connectivity, and index values between low grade and high grade gastric atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: (1) Gastric atrophy was characterised by loss of the gland, variation in the volume, reduction in the neighbourhood, irregularity in spacing, and abnormality in the shape of the glands. (2) Syntactic structure analysis significantly differentiated minor changes in gastric gland (low grade atrophy) from high grade atrophy of clinical significance. (3) Syntactic structure analysis is a simple, fast, and highly reproducible technique and appears a promising method for quantitative assessment of atrophy.

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