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March 1994

DNA Content of Head and Neck Squamous Carcinoma by Flow and Image Cytometry

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology (Drs Gandour-Edwards, Yu, and Teplitz and Mr Howard) and Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Donald), University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(3):294-297. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880270042008

Objective:  To compare the measurement of quantitative DNA in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck by flow cytometry and image cytometry.

Design:  Comparison of image cytometry to the more commonly used flow cytometry using paraffin-embedded tissues.

Setting:  University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento. A 472-bed university teaching hospital.

Patients:  Records of 26 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, base of tongue, and larynx were obtained from the case files of an otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeon. They were reviewed for staging and follow-up.

Results:  We demonstrated a 96% concordance rate between the methods. A solitary discrepant case was aneuploid by image cytometry and diploid by flow cytometry. The specimen involved tumor infiltrated by lymphocytes that may have masked the aneuploid population to measurement by flow cytometry. Quantitative DNA analysis correlated moderately well with tumor grade, tumor stage, and patient outcome with a minimum of 6 years of follow-up. All patients with diploid tumors were long-term survivors.

Conclusions:  Both methods provide accurate quantitative DNA analyses in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The methods are highly correlative and yield similar predictive data regarding tumor behavior and prognosis.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:294-297)

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