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In the initial stage of drug induced hepatic lesions, classic histological exams fail to reveal changes, while blood work already shows significant functional and enzyme level changes. This study examines the ability of fractal analysis to reflect drug induced minor changes in the liver.

Fractal dimension (FD) was computed on complete histology images (CHI) and on chromatin regions (CR) extracted by image segmentation. Images were available from a previous study on rats with induced tumours, investigating the hepatic effects of mitoxantrone, farmarubicine, and holoxan, as well as of phenol extracts from three plants. The statistical analysis carefully complied with the features of the input data and included ANOVA, t-test, power, size effect, and confidence intervals.

We found the impact of the toxic drugs on the FD of the histology images to be major and reliable, with variations among the drugs and the types of images (CHI and CR). The effect of the protective drugs on the FD of the images is less impressive.

This study provides additional evidence that FD of histology images can be used as an complementary diagnostic tool in the pathology lab. Introduction of FD as a regular image-processing step can lead in a short time to confirming its added value in identifying small and diffuse lesions.

Journal of Comparative Pathology, Volume 148, Issue 1, January 2013, Page 92

Full poster presentation can be viewed here.                                                  High resolution pdf here.

Authors: dr. Liviu Gaita, Prof. dr. Manuella Militaru


Note of Liviu Gaita:

This study is made on primary data collected in an old research project - designed, performed, and concluded before any of my involvement. I am steadily committed to promoting a total ban on experiments on healthy animals, be they human or non-human animals. Liviu Gaita

Published in Oncologie

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