Fused 3-stage image segmentation for pleural effusion cell clusters

Sike MA*, Meng ZHAO, Hao WANG, Fan SHI, Xuguo SUN, Shengyong CHEN, Hong Ning DAI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Researchpeer-review


The appearance of tumor cell clusters in pleural effusion is usually a vital sign of cancer metastasis. Segmentation, as an indispensable basis, is of crucial importance for diagnosing, chemical treatment, and prognosis in patients. However, accurate segmentation of unstained cell clusters containing more detailed features than the fluorescent staining images remains to be a challenging problem due to the complex background and the unclear boundary. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a fused 3-stage image segmentation algorithm, namely Coarse segmentation-Mapping-Fine segmentation (CMF) to achieve unstained cell clusters from whole slide images. Firstly, we establish a tumor cell cluster dataset consisting of 107 sets of images, with each set containing one unstained image, one stained image, and one ground-truth image. Then, according to the features of the unstained and stained cell clusters, we propose a three-stage segmentation method: 1) Coarse segmentation on stained images to extract suspicious cell regions-Region of Interest (ROI); 2) Mapping this ROI to the corresponding unstained image to get the ROI of the unstained image (UI-ROI); 3) Fine Segmentation using improved automatic fuzzy clustering framework (AFCF) on the UI-ROI to get precise cell cluster boundaries. Experimental results on 107 sets of images demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can achieve better performance on unstained cell clusters with an F1 score of 90.40%.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICPR 2020 - 25th International Conference on Pattern Recognition
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728188089
ISBN (Print)9781728188089
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event25th International Conference on Pattern Recognition, ICPR 2020 - Virtual, Milan, Italy
Duration: 10 Jan 202115 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Pattern Recognition
ISSN (Print)1051-4651


Conference25th International Conference on Pattern Recognition, ICPR 2020
CityVirtual, Milan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This document is the results of the research project funded by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61703304, 61906133 and U1509207), R & D Plan in Key Field of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2019B010109001), Major Science and Technology Projects of Tianjin (Grant No.18ZXZNGX00150) and is carried out with the support of ERCIM ‘Alain Bensoussan’ Fellowship Programme.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE


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