An alternative reference space for H&E color normalization

Mark D. Zarella, Chan Yeoh, David E. Breen, Fernando U. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Digital imaging of H&E stained slides has enabled the application of image processing to support pathology workflows. Potential applications include computer-aided diagnostics, advanced quantification tools, and innovative visualization platforms. However, the intrinsic variability of biological tissue and the vast differences in tissue preparation protocols often lead to significant image variability that can hamper the effectiveness of these computational tools. We developed an alternative representation for H&E images that operates within a space that is more amenable to many of these image processing tools. The algorithm to derive this representation operates by exploiting the correlation between color and the spatial properties of the biological structures present in most H&E images. In this way, images are transformed into a structure-centric space in which images are segregated into tissue structure channels. We demonstrate that this framework can be extended to achieve color normalization, effectively reducing inter-slide variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0174489
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'An alternative reference space for H&E color normalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this