The field of digital pathology has seen a proliferation of deep learning models in recent years. Despite substantial progress, it remains rare for other researchers and pathologists to be able to access models published in the literature and apply them to their own images. This is due to difficulties in both sharing and running models. To address these concerns, we introduce WSInfer: a new, open-source software ecosystem designed to make deep learning for pathology more streamlined and accessible. WSInfer comprises three main elements: 1) a Python package and command line tool to efficiently apply patch-based deep learning inference to whole slide images; 2) a QuPath extension that provides an alternative inference engine through user-friendly and interactive software, and 3) a model zoo, which enables pathology models and metadata to be easily shared in a standardized form. Together, these contributions aim to encourage wider reuse, exploration, and interrogation of deep learning models for research purposes, by putting them into the hands of pathologists and eliminating a need for coding experience when accessed through QuPath. The WSInfer source code is hosted on GitHub and documentation is available at https://wsinfer.readthedocs.io.
To achieve high-quality results, diffusion models must be trained on large datasets. This can be notably prohibitive for models in specialized domains, such as computational pathology. Conditioning on labeled data is known to help in data-efficient model training. Therefore, histopathology reports, which are rich in valuable clinical information, are an ideal choice as guidance for a histopathology generative model. In this paper, we introduce PathLDM, the first text-conditioned Latent Diffusion Model tailored for generating high-quality histopathology images. Leveraging the rich contextual information provided by pathology text reports, our approach fuses image and textual data to enhance the generation process. By utilizing GPT's capabilities to distill and summarize complex text reports, we establish an effective conditioning mechanism. Through strategic conditioning and necessary architectural enhancements, we achieved a SoTA FID score of 7.64 for text-to-image generation on the TCGA-BRCA dataset, significantly outperforming the closest text-conditioned competitor with FID 30.1.
In digital pathology, the spatial context of cells is important for cell classification, cancer diagnosis and prognosis. To model such complex cell context, however, is challenging. Cells form different mixtures, lineages, clusters and holes. To model such structural patterns in a learnable fashion, we introduce several mathematical tools from spatial statistics and topological data analysis. We incorporate such structural descriptors into a deep generative model as both conditional inputs and a differentiable loss. This way, we are able to generate high quality multi-class cell layouts for the first time. We show that the topology-rich cell layouts can be used for data augmentation and improve the performance of downstream tasks such as cell classification.
* To be published in proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer
Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2023
Validation metrics are key for the reliable tracking of scientific progress and for bridging the current chasm between artificial intelligence (AI) research and its translation into practice. However, increasing evidence shows that particularly in image analysis, metrics are often chosen inadequately in relation to the underlying research problem. This could be attributed to a lack of accessibility of metric-related knowledge: While taking into account the individual strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of validation metrics is a critical prerequisite to making educated choices, the relevant knowledge is currently scattered and poorly accessible to individual researchers. Based on a multi-stage Delphi process conducted by a multidisciplinary expert consortium as well as extensive community feedback, the present work provides the first reliable and comprehensive common point of access to information on pitfalls related to validation metrics in image analysis. Focusing on biomedical image analysis but with the potential of transfer to other fields, the addressed pitfalls generalize across application domains and are categorized according to a newly created, domain-agnostic taxonomy. To facilitate comprehension, illustrations and specific examples accompany each pitfall. As a structured body of information accessible to researchers of all levels of expertise, this work enhances global comprehension of a key topic in image analysis validation.
Deep learning methods have achieved impressive performance for multi-class medical image segmentation. However, they are limited in their ability to encode topological interactions among different classes (e.g., containment and exclusion). These constraints naturally arise in biomedical images and can be crucial in improving segmentation quality. In this paper, we introduce a novel topological interaction module to encode the topological interactions into a deep neural network. The implementation is completely convolution-based and thus can be very efficient. This empowers us to incorporate the constraints into end-to-end training and enrich the feature representation of neural networks. The efficacy of the proposed method is validated on different types of interactions. We also demonstrate the generalizability of the method on both proprietary and public challenge datasets, in both 2D and 3D settings, as well as across different modalities such as CT and Ultrasound. Code is available at: https://github.com/TopoXLab/TopoInteraction
* Accepted to ECCV 2022 (Oral); 32 pages, 19 figures
The combination of data analysis methods, increasing computing capacity, and improved sensors enable quantitative granular, multi-scale, cell-based analyses. We describe the rich set of application challenges related to tissue interpretation and survey AI methods currently used to address these challenges. We focus on a particular class of targeted human tissue analysis - histopathology - aimed at quantitative characterization of disease state, patient outcome prediction and treatment steering.
The field of automatic biomedical image analysis crucially depends on robust and meaningful performance metrics for algorithm validation. Current metric usage, however, is often ill-informed and does not reflect the underlying domain interest. Here, we present a comprehensive framework that guides researchers towards choosing performance metrics in a problem-aware manner. Specifically, we focus on biomedical image analysis problems that can be interpreted as a classification task at image, object or pixel level. The framework first compiles domain interest-, target structure-, data set- and algorithm output-related properties of a given problem into a problem fingerprint, while also mapping it to the appropriate problem category, namely image-level classification, semantic segmentation, instance segmentation, or object detection. It then guides users through the process of selecting and applying a set of appropriate validation metrics while making them aware of potential pitfalls related to individual choices. In this paper, we describe the current status of the Metrics Reloaded recommendation framework, with the goal of obtaining constructive feedback from the image analysis community. The current version has been developed within an international consortium of more than 60 image analysis experts and will be made openly available as a user-friendly toolkit after community-driven optimization.
* Shared first authors: Lena Maier-Hein, Annika Reinke. arXiv admin
note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:2104.05642
Understanding the impact of tumor biology on the composition of nearby cells often requires characterizing the impact of biologically distinct tumor regions. Biomarkers have been developed to label biologically distinct tumor regions, but challenges arise because of differences in the spatial extent and distribution of differentially labeled regions. In this work, we present a framework for systematically investigating the impact of distinct tumor regions on cells near the tumor borders, accounting their cross spatial distributions. We apply the framework to multiplex immunohistochemistry (mIHC) studies of pancreatic cancer and show its efficacy in demonstrating how biologically different tumor regions impact the immune response in the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, we show that the proposed framework can be extended to largescale whole slide image analysis.