Background: The protein ki67 (pki67) is a marker of tumor aggressiveness, and its expression has been proven to be useful in the prognostic and predictive evaluation of several types of tumors. To numerically quantify the pki67 presence in cancerous tissue areas, pathologists generally analyze histochemical images to count the number of tumor nuclei marked for pki67. This allows estimating the ki67-index, that is the percentage of tumor nuclei positive for pki67 over all the tumor nuclei. Given the high image resolution and dimensions, its estimation by expert clinicians is particularly laborious and time consuming. Though automatic cell counting techniques have been presented so far, the problem is still open. Results: In this paper we present a novel automatic approach for the estimations of the ki67-index. The method starts by exploiting the STRESS algorithm to produce a color enhanced image where all pixels belonging to nuclei are easily identified by thresholding, and then separated into positive (i.e. pixels belonging to nuclei marked for pki67) and negative by a binary classification tree. Next, positive and negative nuclei pixels are processed separately by two multiscale procedures identifying isolated nuclei and separating adjoining nuclei. The multiscale procedures exploit two Bayesian classification trees to recognize positive and negative nuclei-shaped regions. Conclusions: The evaluation of the computed results, both through experts' visual assessments and through the comparison of the computed indexes with those of experts, proved that the prototype is promising, so that experts believe in its potential as a tool to be exploited in the clinical practice as a valid aid for clinicians estimating the ki67-index. The MATLAB source code is open source for research purposes.

Ki67 nuclei detection and ki67-index estimation : a novel automatic approach based on human vision modeling / B.R. Barricelli, E. Casiraghi, J. Gliozzo, V. Huber, B.E. Leone, A. Rizzi, B. Vergani. - In: BMC BIOINFORMATICS. - ISSN 1471-2105. - 20:1(2019 Dec 30).

Ki67 nuclei detection and ki67-index estimation : a novel automatic approach based on human vision modeling

Barricelli B. R.;Casiraghi E.;Rizzi A.;Vergani B.
2019-12-30

Abstract

Background: The protein ki67 (pki67) is a marker of tumor aggressiveness, and its expression has been proven to be useful in the prognostic and predictive evaluation of several types of tumors. To numerically quantify the pki67 presence in cancerous tissue areas, pathologists generally analyze histochemical images to count the number of tumor nuclei marked for pki67. This allows estimating the ki67-index, that is the percentage of tumor nuclei positive for pki67 over all the tumor nuclei. Given the high image resolution and dimensions, its estimation by expert clinicians is particularly laborious and time consuming. Though automatic cell counting techniques have been presented so far, the problem is still open. Results: In this paper we present a novel automatic approach for the estimations of the ki67-index. The method starts by exploiting the STRESS algorithm to produce a color enhanced image where all pixels belonging to nuclei are easily identified by thresholding, and then separated into positive (i.e. pixels belonging to nuclei marked for pki67) and negative by a binary classification tree. Next, positive and negative nuclei pixels are processed separately by two multiscale procedures identifying isolated nuclei and separating adjoining nuclei. The multiscale procedures exploit two Bayesian classification trees to recognize positive and negative nuclei-shaped regions. Conclusions: The evaluation of the computed results, both through experts' visual assessments and through the comparison of the computed indexes with those of experts, proved that the prototype is promising, so that experts believe in its potential as a tool to be exploited in the clinical practice as a valid aid for clinicians estimating the ki67-index. The MATLAB source code is open source for research purposes.
Artificial intelligence; Color enhancement; Histochemical image analysis; Human vision model; Image processing; Image segmentation; ki67 cell nuclei counting
Settore INF/01 - Informatica
Settore MED/01 - Statistica Medica
Settore MED/04 - Patologia Generale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/704311
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