Analysis of population dispersion in histological sections

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stereology and other image analysis methods have enabled rapid and objective quantitative measurements to be made on histological sections. These mesurements may include total volumes, surfaces, lengths and numbers of cells and blood vessels or pathological lesions. Histological features, however, may not be randomly distributed across a section but exhibit 'dispersion', a departure from randomness either towards regularity or aggregation. Information of population dispersion may be valuable not only in understanding the two-or three-dimensional structure but also in elucidating the pathogenesis of lesions in pathological conditions. This article reviews some of the statistical methods available for studying dispersion. These range from simple tests of whether the distribution of a histological faeture departs significantly from random to more complex methods which can detect the intensity of aggregation and the sizes, distribution and spacing of the clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-15
Number of pages3
JournalMicroscopy and Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Stereology
  • dispersion
  • plot sampling
  • plotless sampling
  • random distribution
  • clustering


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