Application of morphometry methods to assess histopathology in preclinical studies


УДК 616-093:616-018
DOI: 10.57034/2618723X-2024-01-04

Ya.A. Guschin,
head of department of histology and pathomorphology,

Research and manufacturing company “Home оf Pharmacy”,
188663, Russia, Leningrad oblast, Vsevolozhskiy district, Kuzmolovskiy t.s., Zavodskaya st. 3–245.

E-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: preclinical studies histology morphometry planimetry stereology


The study was performed without external funding.

For citation:

Guschin Ya.A. Application of morphometry methods to assess histopathology in preclinical studies. Laboratory Animals for Science. 2024; 1.


Morphometry is one of the most important methods of preclinical studies. It is an integral part of microscopy analysis. The main problems of microscopic analysis are variability of microscopic findings, absence of uniformity of the terms and definitions, the subjectivity of the pathologist’s perception. Thus, the traditional histopathologic description does not can use for a full and objective assessment of experimental disease. The pathologist can evaluate the whole of microscopic findings and make a diagnosis. However, he can overlook small differences, that can be critical for comparative analysis. Application of morphometry methods helps to detect small differences in the degree of severity of microscopic findings. Counting of tissue’s elements, measurement their size or using semiquantitative scales allows to reduce or, even, exclude the subjectivity of the perception. This review describes methods of quantitative and qualitative morphometry based on commonly used types of measurement scales. The descriptive histology is the simplest means of analyzing. It is a search method and applies in every research for assessment of samples, detection target organs, determining the frequency of developing changes in animal’s groups. Pathologists use the most frequently semiquantitative scales. It is a simple method, that do not need special equipment. It allows to compare the degree of severity of the effects of a test sample on target organs, in contrast to descriptive analyze. Conversion qualitative data about the pathological findings to quantitative data allows significantly increase reliability and reproducibility of results of research. But, one must carefully choose a scoring scale according to modeled disease. The quantitative morphometry includes planimetry and stereology. It needs special measuring tools or software. The result of quantitative analisis allows to compare the degree of severity of a pathological process and to detect how many times the one effect is bigger, then another one. Also, it makes it possible to mathematically model the processes, calculating dose-response relationships for example. Planimetry based on linear measurements and counting of elements in a two-dimensional plane of tissue slice. The result of stereometric measurements is quantitative characteristics of elements in the whole volume of the object, in contrast to planimetry, where the result is quantitative characteristics of elements in part of the object. The method has maximum objectivity and reliability, but time-consuming and needs carefully a pre-planning and an applying rigorous sampling methods. Described methods are not completely interchangeable. They can be taken in combination, that increases the quality of research.

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest requiring disclosure in this article


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Received: 2023-12-25
Reviewed: 2024-01-26
Accepted for publication: 2024-02-13

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