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In Journal of pathology informatics ; h5-index 23.0

Identifying organs within histology images is a fundamental and non-trivial step in toxicological digital pathology workflows as multiple organs often appear on the same whole slide image (WSI). Previous works in automated tissue classification have investigated the use of single magnifications, and demonstrated limitations when attempting to identify small and contiguous organs at low magnifications. In order to overcome these shortcomings, we present a multi-magnification convolutional neural network (CNN), called MMO-Net, which employs context and cellular detail from different magnifications to facilitate the recognition of complex organs. Across N=320 WSI from 3 contract research organization (CRO) laboratories, we demonstrate state-of-the-art organ detection and segmentation performance of 7 rat organs with and without lesions: liver, kidney, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, urinary bladder, salivary gland, and mandibular lymph node (AUROC=0.99-1.0 for all organs, Dice≥0.9 except parathyroid (0.73)). Evaluation takes place at both inter- and intra CRO levels, suggesting strong generalizability performance. Results are qualitatively reviewed using visualization masks to ensure separation of organs in close proximity (e.g., thyroid vs parathyroid glands). MMO-Net thus offers organ localization that serves as a potential quality control tool to validate WSI metadata and as a preprocessing step for subsequent organ-specific artificial intelligence (AI) use cases. To facilitate research in this area, all associated WSI and metadata used for this study are being made freely available, forming a first of its kind dataset for public use.

Gámez Serna Citlalli, Romero-Palomo Fernando, Arcadu Filippo, Funk Jürgen, Schumacher Vanessa, Janowczyk Andrew


Convolutional neural networks, Digital pathology, Multiple magnifications, Organ identification, Preclinical assessment, Quality control