University of Oulu

Ville A Palomäki, Vesa Koivukangas, Sanna Meriläinen, Petri Lehenkari & Tuomo J Karttunen (2022) A Straightforward Method for Adipocyte Size and Count Analysis Using Open-source Software QuPath, Adipocyte, 11:1, 99-107, DOI: 10.1080/21623945.2022.2027610

A straightforward method for adipocyte size and count analysis using open-source software QuPath

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Author: Palomäki, Ville A1; Koivukangas, Vesa1; Meriläinen, Sanna1;
Organizations: 1Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-29


Changes in adipose tissue morphology, depicted by cell morphology alterations such as enlargement of fat cells, always accompany over-weight and obesity. The variables related to cell size have been shown to associate with low-grade inflammation of adipose tissue and common obesity-related comorbidities including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Quantifying fat cell morphology from images of histological specimens can be tedious. Here, we present a straightforward method for the task using the free open-source software QuPath with its inbuilt tools only. Measurements of human adipose tissue samples with the described protocol showed an excellent correlation with those obtained with ImageJ software with Adipocyte Tools plugin combined with manual correction of misdetections. Intraclass correlation between the two methods was at good to excellent level. The method described here can be applied to considerably large tissue areas, even whole-slide analysis.

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Series: Adipocytes
ISSN: 2162-3945
ISSN-E: 2162-397X
ISSN-L: 2162-3945
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pages: 99 - 107
DOI: 10.1080/21623945.2022.2027610
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Government funding (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health K47867) covered the expenses of writing and publication of this article.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.