70 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a simple and effective automated method for the localization of glomeruli in large (~1 gigapixel) histopathological whole-slide images (WSIs) of thin renal tissue sections and biopsies, using an adaptation of the well-known local binary patterns (LBP) image feature vector to train a support vector machine (SVM) model. Our method offers high precision (>90%) and reasonable recall (>70%) for glomeruli from WSIs, is readily adaptable to glomeruli from multiple species, including mouse, rat, and human, and is robust to diverse slide staining methods. Using 5 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4790 CPUs with 40 GB RAM, our method typically requires ~15 sec for training and ~2 min to extract glomeruli reproducibly from a WSI. Deploying a deep convolutional neural network trained for glomerular recognition in tandem with the SVM suffices to reduce false positives to below 3%. We also apply our LBP-based descriptor to successfully detect pathologic changes in a mouse model of diabetic nephropathy. We envision potential clinical and laboratory applications for this approach in the study and diagnosis of glomerular disease, and as a means of greatly accelerating the construction of feature sets to fuel deep learning studies into tissue structure and pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2032
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


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