Retinex model based stain normalization technique for whole slide image analysis
Medical imaging provides the means for diagnosing many of the medical phenomena currently studied in clinical medicine and pathology. The variations of color and intensity in stained histological slides affect the quantitative analysis of the histopathological images. Moreover, stain normalization utilizing color for the classification of pixels into different stain components is challenging. The staining also suffers from variability, which complicates the automatization of tissue area segmentation with different staining and the analysis of whole slide images. We have developed a Retinex model based stain normalization technique in terms of area segmentation from stained tissue images to quantify the individual stain components of the histochemical stains for the ideal removal of variability. The performance was experimentally compared to reference methods and tested on organotypic carcinoma model based on myoma tissue and our method consistently has the smallest standard deviation, skewness value, and coefficient of variation in normalized median intensity measurements. Our method also achieved better quality performance in terms of Quaternion Structure Similarity Index Metric (QSSIM), Structural Similarity Index Metric (SSIM), and Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) by improving robustness against variability and reproducibility. The proposed method could potentially be used in the development of novel research as well as diagnostic tools with the potential improvement of accuracy and consistency in computer aided diagnosis in biobank applications.