Link to DOI – doi.org/10.1002/cyto.a.24659
The progress of digital pathology in recent years has been an opportunity for the development of automated image analysis algorithms for quantitative measurements and computer aided diagnosis. With those new methods comes the need for high staining quality and reproducibility, as image analysis tools are typically more sensible to slight stain variations than trained pathologists. This article presents a method for the automated analysis of cytology slides stains specifically adapted to the challenges encountered in digital cytopathology. In particular, the variety of cell types in cytology slides, the 3D distribution of the cellular material, the presence of superposed cells and the need for independent analysis of sub-cellular compartments are addressed. The proposed method is applied to the quantification of staining variations for quality control, resulting from changes in the staining protocol such as reagent immersion time or a reagent change. Another demonstrated application is the selection of staining protocol parameters that maximize the visible details in nucleus. Finally the analysis pipeline is also used to compare different stain normalization algorithms on digital cytology slides. Code available at: https://gitlab.com/vitadx/articles/automated_staining_analysis.