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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Multiparametric and semiquantitative scoring systems for the evaluation of mouse model histopathology - a systematic review

Robert Klopfleisch

Author Affiliations

Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin, Germany

BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:123  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-123

Published: 21 June 2013



Histopathology has initially been and is still used to diagnose infectious, degenerative or neoplastic diseases in humans or animals. In addition to qualitative diagnoses semiquantitative scoring of a lesion`s magnitude on an ordinal scale is a commonly demanded task for histopathologists. Multiparametric, semiquantitative scoring systems for mouse models histopathology are a common approach to handle these questions and to include histopathologic information in biomedical research.


Inclusion criteria for scoring systems were a first description of a multiparametric, semiquantiative scoring systems which comprehensibly describe an approach to evaluate morphologic lesion. A comprehensive literature search using these criteria identified 153 originally designed semiquantitative scoring systems for the analysis of morphologic changes in mouse models covering almost all organs systems and a wide variety of disease models. Of these, colitis, experimental autoimmune encephalitis, lupus nephritis and collagen induced osteoarthritis colitis were the disease models with the largest number of different scoring systems. Closer analysis of the identified scoring systems revealed a lack of a rationale for the selection of the scoring parameters or a correlation between scoring parameter value and the magnitude of the clinical symptoms in most studies.


Although a decision for a particular scoring system is clearly dependent on the respective scientific question this review gives an overview on currently available systems and may therefore allow for a better choice for the respective project.

Score; Semiquantitative; Histopathology; Colitis; Nephritis; Hepatitis; Encephalitis