Digital versus light microscopy assessment of extraprostatic extension in radical prostatectomy samples

Metka Volavšek, Vanessa Henriques, Ana Blanca, Rodolfo Montironi, Liang Cheng, Maria R. Raspollini, Alessia Cimadamore, Nuno Vau, Francesco Pierconti, Antonio Lopez-Beltran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Focal or non-focal/extensive extraprostatic extension of prostate carcinoma is an important pathologic prognostic parameter to be reported after radical prostatectomy. Currently, there is no agreement on how to measure and what are the best cutoff points to be used in practice. We hypothesized that digital microscopy would potentially provide more objective measurements of extraprostatic extension, thus better defining its clinical significance. To further our knowledge on digital prostate pathology, we evaluated the status of extraprostatic extension in 107 consecutive laparoscopic radical prostatectomy samples, using digital and conventional light microscopy. Mean linear and radial measurements of extraprostatic extension by digital microscopy significantly correlated to pT status (p = 0.022 and p = 0.050, respectively) but only radial measurements correlated to biochemical recurrence (p = 0.042) and grade groups (p = 0.022). None of the measurements, whether conventional or digital, were associated with lymph node status. Receiving operating characteristic analysis showed a potential cutoff point to assess linear measurements by conventional (< vs. > 24.21 mm) or digital microscopy (< vs. > 15 mm) or by radial measurement (< vs. > 1.6 mm). Finally, we observed an association between the number of paraffin blocks bearing EPE with pT (p = 0.041) status (digital microscopy), and linear measurements by conventional (p = 0.044) or digital microscopy (p = 0.045) with lymph node status. Reporting EPE measurements by digital microscopy, both linear and radial, and the number of paraffin blocks with EPE, might provide additional prognostic features after radical prostatectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-744
Number of pages10
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019



  • Biochemical recurrence
  • Digital microscopy
  • Digital pathology
  • Extraprostatic extension
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Volavšek, M., Henriques, V., Blanca, A., Montironi, R., Cheng, L., Raspollini, M. R., Cimadamore, A., Vau, N., Pierconti, F., & Lopez-Beltran, A. (2019). Digital versus light microscopy assessment of extraprostatic extension in radical prostatectomy samples. Virchows Archiv, 475(6), 735-744.