An Investigation into Glomeruli Detection in Kidney H&E and PAS Images using YOLO

Context: Analyzing digital pathology images is necessary to draw diagnostic conclusions by investigating tissue patterns and cellular morphology. However, manual evaluation can be time-consuming, expensive, and prone to inter- and intra-observer variability. Objective: To assist pathologists using computerized solutions, automated tissue structure detection and segmentation must be proposed. Furthermore, generating pixel-level object annotations for histopathology images is expensive and time-consuming. As a result, detection models with bounding box labels may be a feasible solution. Design: This paper studies. YOLO-v4 (You-Only-Look-Once), a real-time object detector for microscopic images. YOLO uses a single neural network to predict several bounding boxes and class probabilities for objects of interest. YOLO can enhance detection performance by training on whole slide images. YOLO-v4 has been used in this paper. for glomeruli detection in human kidney images. Multiple experiments have been designed and conducted based on different training data of two public datasets and a private dataset from the University of Michigan for fine-tuning the model. The model was tested on the private dataset from the University of Michigan, serving as an external validation of two different stains, namely hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS). Results: Average specificity and sensitivity for all experiments, and comparison of existing segmentation methods on the same datasets are discussed. Conclusions: Automated glomeruli detection in human kidney images is possible using modern AI models. The design and validation for different stains still depends on variability of public multi-stain datasets.

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