In traditional cancer diagnosis, (histo)pathological images of biopsy samples are visually analysed by pathologists. However, this judgment is subjective and leads to variability among pathologists. Digital scanners may enable automated objective assessment, improved quality and reduced throughput time. Nucleus detection is seen as the corner stone for a range of applications in automated assessment of (histo)pathological images. In this paper, we propose an efficient nucleus detector designed with machine learning. We applied colour deconvolution to reconstruct each applied stain. Next, we constructed a large feature set and modified AdaBoost to create two detectors, focused on different characteristics in appearance of nuclei. The proposed modification of AdaBoost enables inclusion of the computational cost of each feature during selection, thus improving the computational efficiency of the resulting detectors. The outputs of the two detectors are merged by a globally optimal active contour algorithm to refine the border of the detected nuclei. With a detection rate of 95% (on average 58 incorrectly found objects per field-of-view) based on 51 field-of-view images of Her2 immunohistochemistry stained breast tissue and a complete analysis in 1 s per field-of-view, our nucleus detector shows good performance and could enable a range of applications in automated assessment of (histo)pathological images.

Biomedical image processing, Feature extraction, Image segmentation, Machine learning, Nucleus segmentation, Object detection, Pathology
dx.doi.org/10.1111/jmi.12001, hdl.handle.net/1765/66194
Journal of Microscopy
Department of Pathology

Vink, J.P, Leeuwen, M.V, van Deurzen, C.H.M, & de Haan, G. (2013). Efficient nucleus detector in histopathology images. Journal of Microscopy, 249(2), 124–135. doi:10.1111/jmi.12001