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Article

Experimental Assessment of Color Deconvolution and Color Normalization for Automated Classification of Histology Images Stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin

1
Department of Engineering, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Via Goffredo Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
2
giCentre, School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering, City, University of London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK
3
Department of Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine VI, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Performed part of this work as an Academic Visitor in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering at City, University of London.
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3337; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113337
Received: 7 October 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning Techniques in Cancer)
The appearance of histology images stained with H&E can vary a lot as a consequence of changes in the reagents, staining conditions, preparation procedure and acquisition system. In this work we investigated whether color preprocessing—specifically color deconvolution and color normalization—could be used to correct such variability and improve the performance of automated classification procedures. Experimenting on 11 datasets, 13 image descriptors and eight color pre-processing methods we found that doing no color preprocessing was the best option in most cases.
Histological evaluation plays a major role in cancer diagnosis and treatment. The appearance of H&E-stained images can vary significantly as a consequence of differences in several factors, such as reagents, staining conditions, preparation procedure and image acquisition system. Such potential sources of noise can all have negative effects on computer-assisted classification. To minimize such artefacts and their potentially negative effects several color pre-processing methods have been proposed in the literature—for instance, color augmentation, color constancy, color deconvolution and color transfer. Still, little work has been done to investigate the efficacy of these methods on a quantitative basis. In this paper, we evaluated the effects of color constancy, deconvolution and transfer on automated classification of H&E-stained images representing different types of cancers—specifically breast, prostate, colorectal cancer and malignant lymphoma. Our results indicate that in most cases color pre-processing does not improve the classification accuracy, especially when coupled with color-based image descriptors. Some pre-processing methods, however, can be beneficial when used with some texture-based methods like Gabor filters and Local Binary Patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: histology images; H& E staining; color; texture histology images; H& E staining; color; texture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bianconi, F.; Kather, J.N.; Reyes-Aldasoro, C.C. Experimental Assessment of Color Deconvolution and Color Normalization for Automated Classification of Histology Images Stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin. Cancers 2020, 12, 3337. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113337

AMA Style

Bianconi F, Kather JN, Reyes-Aldasoro CC. Experimental Assessment of Color Deconvolution and Color Normalization for Automated Classification of Histology Images Stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin. Cancers. 2020; 12(11):3337. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113337

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bianconi, Francesco, Jakob N. Kather, and Constantino C. Reyes-Aldasoro. 2020. "Experimental Assessment of Color Deconvolution and Color Normalization for Automated Classification of Histology Images Stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin" Cancers 12, no. 11: 3337. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113337

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