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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 19, Issue 3-4, Pages 163-168

The AgNOR Quantity as Prognostic Parameter in Choroidal Melanomas: A Standardised Analysis

G. Tuccari,1 J. A. Giménez‐Mas,3 F. Fedele,1 C. Del‐Agua,3 B. Melcon,4 C. J. Trombetta,2 and G. Giuffrè1

1Department of Human Pathology, University of Messina, Italy
2Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Messina, Italy
3Institute of Pathology, Hospital Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain
4Institute of Ophthalmology, Hospital Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain

Received 10 August 1999; Accepted 10 February 2000

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to assess the prognostic significance of silver‐stained nucleolar organizer region (AgNOR) proteins, a standardised analysis has been performed on 34 ocular globes with choroidal melanomas. On formalin‐fixed paraffin‐embedded sections, the visualisation and quantification of AgNORs were achieved according to the guidelines of the Committee on AgNOR Quantification (1995); statistical analysis was performed on the mean AgNOR area values (NORA). We have encountered significantly higher NORA values in non‐spindle shaped elements, in tumours of larger dimensions as well as in those with worse clinical course; no correlations were achieved when the AgNOR quantity was compared with age, sex and amount of pigment. The comparison of Kaplan–Meier survival curves revealed that patients affected by melanomas with higher NORA values (>3.327 μm2), non‐spindle cell histotype and increased size of tumour had a worse prognosis; finally, by Cox multivariate analysis, the AgNOR quantity appeared the only independent prognostic variable to predict the final outcome of patients.