The use of the decision tree technique and image cytometry to characterize aggressiveness in World Health Organization (WHO) grade II superficial transitional cell carcinomas of the bladder
Decaestecker C, van Velthoven R, Petein M, Janssen T, Salmon I, Pasteels JL, van Ham P, Schulman C, Kiss R. J Pathol. 1996 Mar;178(3):274-83.


Institut de Recherches Interdisciplinaires et de Développements en Intelligence Artificielle (I.R.I.D.I.A.), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.


The aggressiveness of human bladder tumours can be assessed by means of various classification systems, including the one proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO classification, three levels of malignancy are identified as grades I (low), II (intermediate), and III (high). This classification system operates satisfactorily for two of the three grades in forecasting clinical progression, most grade I tumours being associated with good prognoses and most grade III with bad. In contrast, the grade II group is very heterogeneous in terms of their clinical behaviour. The present study used two computer-assisted methods to investigate whether it is possible to sub-classify grade II tumours: computer-assisted microscope analysis (image cytometry) of Feulgen-stained nuclei and the Decision Tree Technique. This latter technique belongs to the Supervised Learning Algorithm and enables an objective assessment to be made of the diagnostic value associated with a given parameter. The combined use of these two methods in a series of 292 superficial transitional cell carcinomas shows that it is possible to identify one subgroup of grade II tumours which behave clinically like grade I tumours and a second subgroup which behaves clinically like grade III tumours. Of the nine ploidy-related parameters computed by means of image cytometry [the DNA index (DI), DNA histogram type (DHT), and the percentages of diploid, hyperdiploid, triploid, hypertriploid, tetraploid, hypertetraploid, and polyploid cell nuclei], it was the percentage of hyperdiploid and hypertetraploid cell nuclei which enabled identification, rather than conventional parameters such as the DI or the DHT.