Automatic segmentation of cell nuclei in bladder and skin tissue for karyometric analysis

Vrushali R. Korde, Hubert Bartels, James Ranger-Moore, Jennifer Barton

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

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To automatically segment cell nuclei in histology images of bladder and skin tissue for karyometric analysis. Materials/Methods: The four main steps in the program were as follows: 1) median filtering and thresholding, 2) segmentation, 3) categorizing, and 4) cusp correction. This robust segmentation technique used properties of the image histogram to optimally select a threshold and create closed four-way chain code nuclei segmentations. Each cell nucleus segmentation was treated as an individual object with properties of segmentation quality. A segmentation was placed in one of the following three categories based on its properties: throw away, salvageable, or good. Erosion/dilation and rethresholding were performed on salvageable nuclei to correct cusps. Results: Ten bladder histology images were segmented both by hand and using this automatic segmention algorithm. The automatic segmentation resulted in a sensitivity of 76.4%. The average difference between hand and automatic segmentations over 42 nuclei, calculated for each of the 95 features used in karyometric analysis, ranged between 0 and 48.3%, with an average of 2.8%. The same procedure was performed on 10 skin histology images with a sensitivity of 83.0%. Average differences over 44 nuclei ranged between 0 and 200%, with an average of 10.0%. Conclusion: The close agreement in karyometric features with hand segmentation shows that automated segmentation can be used for analysis of bladder and skin histology images. Average differences between hand and automatic segmentations were smaller in bladder histology images because these images contained less contrast, and therefore the range of the karyometric feature values was smaller.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiophotonics 2007
Subtitle of host publicationOptics in Life Science
ISBN (Print)0819467774, 9780819467775
StatePublished - 2007
EventBiophotonics 2007: Optics in Life Science - Munich, Germany
Duration: Jun 18 2007Jun 20 2007

Publication series

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


OtherBiophotonics 2007: Optics in Life Science


  • Bladder
  • Karyometry
  • Nuclei
  • Segmentation
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic segmentation of cell nuclei in bladder and skin tissue for karyometric analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this