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Journal of Medical Imaging • Open Access

Color accuracy and reproducibility in whole slide imaging scanners
Author(s): Prarthana Shrestha; Bas Hulsken

Paper Abstract

We propose a workflow for color reproduction in whole slide imaging (WSI) scanners, such that the colors in the scanned images match to the actual slide color and the inter-scanner variation is minimum. We describe a new method of preparation and verification of the color phantom slide, consisting of a standard IT8-target transmissive film, which is used in color calibrating and profiling the WSI scanner. We explore several International Color Consortium (ICC) compliant techniques in color calibration/profiling and rendering intents for translating the scanner specific colors to the standard display (sRGB) color space. Based on the quality of the color reproduction in histopathology slides, we propose the matrix-based calibration/profiling and absolute colorimetric rendering approach. The main advantage of the proposed workflow is that it is compliant to the ICC standard, applicable to color management systems in different platforms, and involves no external color measurement devices. We quantify color difference using the CIE-DeltaE2000 metric, where DeltaE values below 1 are considered imperceptible. Our evaluation on 14 phantom slides, manufactured according to the proposed method, shows an average inter-slide color difference below 1 DeltaE. The proposed workflow is implemented and evaluated in 35 WSI scanners developed at Philips, called the Ultra Fast Scanners (UFS). The color accuracy, measured as DeltaE between the scanner reproduced colors and the reference colorimetric values of the phantom patches, is improved on average to 3.5 DeltaE in calibrated scanners from 10 DeltaE in uncalibrated scanners. The average inter-scanner color difference is found to be 1.2 DeltaE. The improvement in color performance upon using the proposed method is apparent with the visual color quality of the tissue scans.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2014
PDF: 8 pages
J. Med. Imag. 1(2) 027501 doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.1.2.027501
Published in: Journal of Medical Imaging Volume 1, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Prarthana Shrestha, Philips Digital Pathology Solutions (Netherlands)
Bas Hulsken, Philips Digital Pathology Solutions (Netherlands)

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