Histopathology stain-color normalization using deep generative models

Farhad Ghazvinian Zanjani, Svitlana Zinger, P.H.N. de With, Babak E. Bejnordi, Jeroen A.W.M. van der Laak

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Performance of designed CAD algorithms for histopathology image analysis is affected by the amount of variations in the samples such as color and intensity of stained images. Stain-color normalization is a well-studied technique for compensating such effects at the input of CAD systems. In this paper, we introduce unsupervised generative neural networks for performing stain-color normalization. For color normalization in stained hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) images, we present three methods based on three frameworks for deep generative models: variational auto-encoder (VAE), generative adversarial networks (GAN) and deep convolutional Gaussian mixture models (DCGMM). Our contribution is defining the color normalization as a learning generative model that is able to generate various color copies of the input image through a nonlinear parametric transformation. In contrast to earlier generative models proposed for stain-color normalization, our approach does not need any labels for data or any other assumptions about the H&E image content. Furthermore, our models learn a parametric transformation during training and can convert the color information of an input image to resemble any arbitrary reference image. This property is essential in time-critical CAD systems in case of changing the reference image, since our approach does not need retraining in contrast to other proposed generative models for stain-color normalization. Experiments on histopathological H&E images with high staining variations, collected from different laboratories, show that our proposed models outperform quantitatively state-of-the-art methods in the measure of color constancy with at least 10-15%, while the converted images are visually in agreement with this performance improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication1st Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning (MIDL 2018)
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018
Event1st Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning (MIDL 2018) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Jul 20186 Jul 2018


Conference1st Conference on Medical Imaging with Deep Learning (MIDL 2018)
Abbreviated titleMIDL 2018
Internet address


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