Glandular structural features are important for the tumor pathologist in the assessment of cancer malignancy of prostate tissue slides. The varying shapes and sizes of glands combined with the tedious manual observation task can result in inaccurate assessment. There are also discrepancies and low-level agreement among pathologists, especially in cases of Gleason pattern 3 and pattern 4 prostate adenocarcinoma. An automated gland segmentation system can highlight various glandular shapes and structures for further analysis by the pathologist. These objective highlighted patterns can help reduce the assessment variability. We propose an automated gland segmentation system. Forty-three hematoxylin and eosin-stained images were acquired from prostate cancer tissue slides and were manually annotated for gland, lumen, periacinar retraction clefting, and stroma regions. Our automated gland segmentation system was trained using these manual annotations. It identifies these regions using a combination of pixel and object-level classifiers by incorporating local and spatial information for consolidating pixel-level classification results into object-level segmentation. Experimental results show that our method outperforms various texture and gland structure-based gland segmentation algorithms in the literature. Our method has good performance and can be a promising tool to help decrease interobserver variability among pathologists.
Journal of Medical Imaging, 2017 Apr;4(2):027501, doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.4.2.027501
Date of acceptance