Basic Research
Copyright ©2006 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 14, 2006; 12(14): 2187-2194
Published online Apr 14, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i14.2187
Liver fibrosis and tissue architectural change measurement using fractal-rectified metrics and Hurst’s exponent
Nicola Dioguardi, Fabio Grizzi, Barbara Franceschini, Paola Bossi, Carlo Russo
Nicola Dioguardi, Fabio Grizzi, Barbara Franceschini, Carlo Russo, Laboratori di Medicina Quantitativa, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Rozzano, Milan, and "Michele Rodriguez" Foundation, Institute for Quantitative Methods in Medicine, Milan, Italy
Paola Bossi, Department of Pathology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Rozzano, Milan, Italy
Supported by the “Michele Rodriguez” Foundation, Institute for Quantitative Measures in Medicine, Milan, Italy
Correspondence to: Nicola Dioguardi, MD, Laboratori di Medicina Quantitativa, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Via Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano MI, Italy.
Telephone: +39-2-82244501 Fax: +39-2-82244590
Received: May 4, 2005
Revised: July 1, 2005
Accepted: August 26, 2005
Published online: April 14, 2006

AIM: To provide the accurate alternative metrical means of monitoring the effects of new antiviral drugs on the reversal of newly formed collagen.

METHODS: Digitized histological biopsy sections taken from 209 patients with chronic C virus hepatitis with different grade of fibrosis or cirrhosis, were measured by means of a new, rapid, user-friendly, fully computer-aided method based on the international system meter rectified using fractal principles.

RESULTS: The following were described: geometric perimeter, area and wrinkledness of fibrosis; the collation of the Knodell, Sheuer, Ishak and METAVIR scores with fractal-rectified metric measurements; the meaning of the physical composition of fibrosis in relation to the magnitude of collagen islets; the intra- and inter-biopsy sample variability of these parameters; the “staging” of biopsy sections indicating the pathway covered by fibrosis formation towards its maximum known value; the quantitative liver tissue architectural changes with the Hurst exponent.

CONCLUSION: Our model provides the first metrical evaluations of the geometric properties of fibrosis and the quantitative architectural changes of the liver tissue. The representativeness of histological sections of the whole liver is also discussed in the light of the results obtained with the Hurst coefficient.

Keywords: Liver, Fibrosis, Cirrhosis, Staging, Image analysis, Fractals