Three-dimensional reconstruction and fractal geometric analysis of serrated adenoma

Masahiro Iwabuchi, Mareyuki Endoh, Nobuo Hiwatashi, Yoshitaka Kinouchi, Tooru Shimosegawa, Takayuki Masuda, Takuya Moriya, Hironobu Sasano

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Serrated adenoma (SA) is a relatively newly defined entity of colorectal neoplasm first characterized by Longacre and Fenoglio-Preiser in 1990. This lesion is characterized by a complicated serrated edge of crypts. In this study, we performed three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction, including 3-D distribution patterns of Ki-67-positive cells and fractal dimension of SA, in order to evaluate the nature of the complicated architecture, including its possible morphogenesis. We studied nine colonoscopic polypectomy specimens including three SAs, three tubular adenomas (TAs), and three hyperplastic polyps (HPs). Sixty serial tissue sections per case were stained alternately with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Ki-67 immunostain. Each serial image was then digitized for 3-D computer analysis and the distribution pattern of Ki-67-positive cells was evaluated. Ki-67-immunostained sections were also subjected to 2-D quantitative morphometric study. In addition, the fractal dimensions of images from H&E-stained sections were examined using a box-counting method. Results of the 3-D reconstruction study demonstrated that glandular budding and branching were more frequent in SA than in TA or HP. These findings were confirmed quantitatively by the results of fractal geometric analysis of these polyps (fractal dimension:1.34±0.08 for SA, 1.23±0.07 for TA, and 1.28±0.12 for HP). Ki-67-positive cells in HP were localized mainly in the bottom of crypts and those in TA were diffusely distributed, while Ki-67-positive cells in SA were mainly aggregated in the depressed sites of serrated epithelia. These findings were also confirmed quantitatively using 2-D morphometry. These distribution patterns of the proliferative zone of SA are considered to contribute to the formation of the characteristic serrated epithelia and the complicated morphological appearance of SA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Fractal dimension
  • Serrated adenoma
  • Three-dimensional reconstruction


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