SynCLay: Interactive Synthesis of Histology Images from Bespoke Cellular Layouts

28 Dec 2022  ·  Srijay Deshpande, Muhammad Dawood, Fayyaz Minhas, Nasir Rajpoot ·

Automated synthesis of histology images has several potential applications in computational pathology. However, no existing method can generate realistic tissue images with a bespoke cellular layout or user-defined histology parameters. In this work, we propose a novel framework called SynCLay (Synthesis from Cellular Layouts) that can construct realistic and high-quality histology images from user-defined cellular layouts along with annotated cellular boundaries. Tissue image generation based on bespoke cellular layouts through the proposed framework allows users to generate different histological patterns from arbitrary topological arrangement of different types of cells. SynCLay generated synthetic images can be helpful in studying the role of different types of cells present in the tumor microenvironmet. Additionally, they can assist in balancing the distribution of cellular counts in tissue images for designing accurate cellular composition predictors by minimizing the effects of data imbalance. We train SynCLay in an adversarial manner and integrate a nuclear segmentation and classification model in its training to refine nuclear structures and generate nuclear masks in conjunction with synthetic images. During inference, we combine the model with another parametric model for generating colon images and associated cellular counts as annotations given the grade of differentiation and cell densities of different cells. We assess the generated images quantitatively and report on feedback from trained pathologists who assigned realism scores to a set of images generated by the framework. The average realism score across all pathologists for synthetic images was as high as that for the real images. We also show that augmenting limited real data with the synthetic data generated by our framework can significantly boost prediction performance of the cellular composition prediction task.

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