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J Pathol Inform. 2010 Nov 29;1:25. doi: 10.4103/2153-3539.73320.

Improving the visualization and detection of tissue folds in whole slide images through color enhancement.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, 02114.



The objective of this paper is to improve the visualization and detection of tissue folds, which are prominent among tissue slides, from the pre-scan image of a whole slide image by introducing a color enhancement method that enables the differentiation between fold and non-fold image pixels.


The weighted difference between the color saturation and luminance of the image pixels is used as shifting factor to the original RGB color of the image.


Application of the enhancement method to hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained images improves the visualization of tissue folds regardless of the colorimetric variations in the images. Detection of tissue folds after application of the enhancement also improves but the presence of nuclei, which are also stained dark like the folds, was found to sometimes affect the detection accuracy.


The presence of tissue artifacts could affect the quality of whole slide images, especially that whole slide scanners select the focus points from the pre-scan image wherein the artifacts are indistinguishable from real tissue area. We have a presented in this paper an enhancement scheme that improves the visualization and detection of tissue folds from pre-scan images. Since the method works on the simulated pre-scan images its integration to the actual whole slide imaging process should also be possible.


Digital pathology; enhancement; image analysis; image quality; luminance; saturation; tissue fold detection; virtual slide; visualization; whole slide imaging

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