Recent advances in information technology have improved pathological virtual-slide technology and diagnostic support system studies of pathological images. Diagnostic support systems utilize quantitative indices determined by image processing. In previous studies on diagnostic support systems, carcinomatous areas of breast or lung have been
recognized by the feature quantities of nuclear sizes, complexities, and internuclear distances based on graph theory,
among other features. Improving recognition accuracy is important for the addition of new feature quantities. We
focused on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and investigated new feature quantities of histological images of HCC. One of the most important histological features of HCC is the trabecular pattern. For diagnosing cancer, it is important to recognize the tumor cell trabeculae. We propose a new algorithm for calculating the number of cell layers in histological images of HCC in tissue sections stained by hematoxylin and eosin. For the calculation, we used a Delaunay diagram that was based on the median points of nuclei, deleted the sinusoid and fat droplet regions from the Delaunay diagram, and counted the Delaunay lines while applying a thinning algorithm. Moreover, we experimented with the calculation of the number of cell layers with our method for different histological grades of HCC. The number of cell layers discriminated tumor differentiations and Edmondson grades; therefore, our algorithm may serve as an index of HCC for diagnostic support systems.