Prostatic interepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is considered a precursor of prostate cancer (PCA). In the majority of the PINs, the atypia is more marked in basal than luminal nuclei. The aim of this study was to quantitate the differences in the Stereological estimation of mean nuclear volume weighted by volume between basal and luminal cells of

PIN, in relation to normal prostate epithelium, and PCA. Ten PIN cases were compared with 50 PCA, and 5 normal prostates. All the specimens were routinely processed and stained with haematoxylin-eosin. The mean ± SD of vv nuc was evaluated for all the groups. The epithelium of both normal and PIN specimens was segmented in basal and luminal compartments, and the vv nuc measured in both strata. Comparisons among groups were performed by ANOVA (p < 0.05). The value of vv nuc was significantly lower in normal epithelium compared to both PIN and PCA. Basal layer PIN vv nuc was significantly higher in comparison to the luminal stratum. Luminal PIN vv nuc was similar to vv nuc of PCA. The similarities in nuclear size between PIN and PCA are according to the pre-malignant character commonly assigned to PIN. The increase ofbasal layer PIN nuc may indicate that the changes heralding the progression from PIN to PCA are produced in this layer, whereas the nuclear features of luminal layer are the same to those of the carcinoma.

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