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June 1, 1994

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

JAMA. 1994;271(21):1700-1701. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510450072040

Immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of estrogen receptors (ERs) and progesterone receptors (PRs) is becoming an alternative to the biochemical ligand-binding assays currently used to study these receptors. Numerous studies have shown good correlation between the two methods. Moreover, it has been suggested that IHC ER/PR analysis may be better at predicting response to endocrine therapy.1,2 In carcinomas of the ovary and endometrium, where the stromal elements may be rich in steroid receptors, only IHC receptor analysis can eliminate the effect of contamination because it localizes receptors to specific cell types. While IHC receptor assays work reliably on frozen tissue sections and cytological preparations,3 they are less reliable on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, although significant improvements in the technique have been reported.1,2 Recently, quantification of ER/PR content of tissue sections has been possible with image analysis (IA) systems.2

Image analysis uses a computer to analyze digitized microscopic images. It

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