This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 10th European Congress on Telepathology and 4th International Congress on Virtual Microscopy
Color standardization and optimization in Whole Slide Imaging
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School 101 Merrimac St. Suite 820, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6(Suppl 1):S15 doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-S1-S15Published: 30 March 2011
Standardization and validation of the color displayed by digital slides is an important aspect of digital pathology implementation. While the most common reason for color variation is the variance in the protocols and practices in the histology lab, the color displayed can also be affected by variation in capture parameters (for example, illumination and filters), image processing and display factors in the digital systems themselves.
We have been developing techniques for color validation and optimization along two paths. The first was based on two standard slides that are scanned and displayed by the imaging system in question. In this approach, one slide is embedded with nine filters with colors selected especially for H&E stained slides (looking like tiny Macbeth color chart); the specific color of the nine filters were determined in our previous study and modified for whole slide imaging (WSI). The other slide is an H&E stained mouse embryo. Both of these slides were scanned and the displayed images were compared to a standard. The second approach was based on our previous multispectral imaging research.
As a first step, the two slide method (above) was used to identify inaccurate display of color and its cause, and to understand the importance of accurate color in digital pathology. We have also improved the multispectral-based algorithm for more consistent results in stain standardization. In near future, the results of the two slide and multispectral techniques can be combined and will be widely available.
We have been conducting a series of researches and developing projects to improve image quality to establish Image Quality Standardization. This paper discusses one of most important aspects of image quality – color.