Computerized image analysis as a tool to quantify infiltrating leukocytes: a comparison between high- and low-magnification images

J Histochem Cytochem. 2001 Sep;49(9):1073-79. doi: 10.1177/002215540104900902.


The purpose of the present study was to establish a rapid and reproducible method for quantification of tissue-infiltrating leukocytes using computerized image analysis. To achieve this, the staining procedure, the image acquisition, and the image analysis method were optimized. Because of the adaptive features of the human eye, computerized image analysis is more sensitive to variations in staining compared with manual image analysis. To minimize variations in staining, an automated immunostainer was used. With a digital scanner camera, low-magnification images could be sampled at high resolution, thus making it possible to analyze larger tissue sections. Image analysis was performed by color thresholding of the digital images based on values of hue, saturation, and intensity color mode, which we consider superior to the red, green, and blue color mode for analysis of most histological stains. To evaluate the method, we compared computerized analysis of images with a x100 or a x12.5 magnification to assess leukocytes infiltrating rat brain tumors after peripheral immunizations with tumor cells genetically modified to express rat interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or medium controls. The results generated by both methods correlated well and did not show any significant differences. The method allows efficient and reproducible processing of large tissue sections that is less time-consuming than conventional methods and can be performed with standard equipment and software.(J Histochem Cytochem 49:1073-1079, 2001)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Epitopes
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukocytes / immunology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Epitopes