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Introduction: Number of Argyrophillic Nucleolar Organizer Regions (AgNORs) is a good indicator of cellular proliferation activity and is useful diagnostic tool to estimate the malignant potential of tumors.
Methods: Tissue sections from 40 cases of gall bladder disease, including 27 cases of gallbladder carcinoma and 13 cases of chronic cholecystitis, were studied for AgNORs count. The correlation of the AgNOR was carried out with various clinco-pathological parameters.
Results: Mean AgNOR counts in gallbladder cancer (11.354 ± 1.7866) were significantly higher than chronic cholecystitis (2.0815 ± 0.3731). Amongst patients with gallbladder carcinoma, well-differentiated (9.5867 ± 1.8928), moderately-differentiated (11.1971 ± 1.3181) and poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma (13.1829 ± 0.9779) showed statistically significant difference in AgNOR counts. On inter stage comparison, study revealed progressive and statistically significant increase in AgNOR count from Tis to T4 stage. Mean AgNOR count for GBCs without metastasis was lower (10.5186 ± 1.6911) than metastatic GBC (12.2538 ± 1.4581), difference being statistically significant (p=0.009).
Discussion and conclusions: Our results demonstrate that AgNOR parameters are useful indicators to evaluate malignant behavior of gallbladder carcinoma and its combination with conventional cytology may increase the diagnostic accuracy. AgNOR index can be used as a rapid, inexpensive and easily performed diagnostic tool to aid in early confirmation of a suspicious case of malignant gallbladder disease.