Journal Article Persistent homology index as a robust quantitative measure of immunohistochemical scoring

Takiyama, Akihiro  ,  Teramoto, Takashi  ,  Suzuki, Hiroaki  ,  Yamashiro, Katsushige  ,  Tanaka, Shinya

7p.14002 , 2017-10-25 , Nature Publishing Group
Immunohistochemical data (IHC) plays an important role in clinical practice, and is typically gathered in a semi-quantitative fashion that relies on some degree of visual scoring. However, visual scoring by a pathologist is inherently subjective and manifests both intra-observer and inter-observer variability. In this study, we introduce a novel computer-aided quantification methodology for immunohistochemical scoring that uses the algebraic concept of persistent homology. Using 8 bit grayscale image data derived from 90 specimens of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast, stained for the replicative marker Ki-67, we computed homology classes. These were then compared to nuclear grades and the Ki-67 labeling indices obtained by visual scoring. Three metrics for IHC staining were newly defined: Persistent Homology Index (PHI), center coordinates of positive and negative groups, and the sum of squares within groups (WSS). This study demonstrates that PHI, a novel index for immunohistochemical labeling using persistent homology, can produce highly similar data to that generated by a pathologist using visual evaluation. The potential benefits associated with our novel technology include both improved quantification and reproducibility. Since our method reflects cellularity and nuclear atypia, it carries a greater quantity of biologic data compared to conventional evaluation using Ki-67.

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