Automatic segmentation of hepatocellular structure from HE-stained liver tissue

Masahiro Ishikawa, Sercan Taha Ahi, Yuri Murakami, Fumikazu Kimura, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Tokiya Abe, Akinori Hashiguchi, Michiie Sakamoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis of hepatic tissue structure is required for quantitative assessment of liver histology. Especially, a cord-like structure of liver cells, called trabecura, has important information in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the extraction of trabeculae is thought to be difficult because liver cells take on various colors and appearances depending on tissue conditions. In this paper, we propose an approach to extract trabeculae from images of hematoxyline and eosin stained liver tissue slide by extracting the rest of trabeculae: sinusoids and stromal area. The sinusoids are simply extracted based on the color information, where the image is corrected by an orientation selective filtering before segmentaion. The stromal area mainly consists of fiber, and often includes lymphocytes densely. Therefore, in the proposed method, fiber region and lymphocytes are extracted separately, then, stromal region is determined based on the extracted results. The determination of stroma is performed based on superpixels, to obtain precise boundaries. Once the regions of sinusoids and stroma are obtained, trabeculae can be segmented as the remaining region. The proposed method was applied to 10 test images of normal and HCC liver tissues, and the results were evaluated based on the manual segmentation. As a result, we confirmed that both sensitivity and specificity of the extraction of trabeculae reach around 90%.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2013
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventSPIE Medical Imaging Symposium 2013: Digital Pathology - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: 2013 Feb 102013 Feb 11

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherSPIE Medical Imaging Symposium 2013: Digital Pathology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • HE-staining
  • Liver histology
  • Liver trabecula
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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