Morphometric diagnosis of serous effusions: refinement of differences between benign and malignant cases by use of outlying values and larger sample size.
Fifty cytologically malignant, five suspicious, and 27 cytologically benign serous effusions were assessed morphometrically for differences in mean and outlying nuclear and cytoplasmic variables. Significant differences were found between benign and malignant specimens for all nuclear morphometric variables measured, the most significant being largest nuclear area and diameter. No significant differences were found for cytoplasmic size variables. Although measurement of outlying values in serous effusions enhanced the difference between benign and malignant cell populations, it was of insufficient sensitivity or specificity to be of clinical diagnostic use. Increasing the sample size improved test performance but would be tedious to perform manually.