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Histopathological diagnosis of brain tumours with the help of a computer: mathematical fundaments and practical application


With the help of a personal computer we have subjected 1684 tumours of the central and peripheral nervous systems to a discriminant analysis to test whether the different brain tumours can be classified. By ascribing a coefficient value which belongs to a linear function to the objective criteria for each tumour these can be ordered in groups, and a classification is then possible. This has been termed discriminant analysis. Fifty histological characteristics were the criteria taken into consideration for each tumour. By using Bayes' formula with a correction for binomial distribution we obtained a correct diagnosis in 98% of the cases studied. The differential diagnosis with its percentage of probabilities is given by the computer. The mathematical fundaments are given. The valuability and precision of this method are discussed.

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Correspondence to J. R. Iglesias.

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Iglesias, J.R., Pfannkuch, F., Aruffo, C. et al. Histopathological diagnosis of brain tumours with the help of a computer: mathematical fundaments and practical application. Acta Neuropathol 71, 130–135 (1986).

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Key words

  • Brain tumours
  • Histopathology
  • Data-processing in medicine
  • Computer assistance
  • Discriminant analysis