Comparison of quantification of histochemical staining by hue-saturation-intensity (HSI) transformation and color-deconvolution

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2003 Mar;11(1):85-91. doi: 10.1097/00129039-200303000-00014.


We tested a recently developed flexible method of separation and quantification of immunohistochemical staining by means of color image analysis. An algorithm was recently developed to deconvolve the color information acquired with RGB cameras, to calculate the contribution of each of the applied stains, based on the stain-specific RGB absorption. The algorithm was tested using a set of lung-tumor samples labeled for the detection of Ki-67, an antigen expressed in proliferating cells, covering a wide range of staining levels. Quantification of the labeling was compared with HSI-based segmentation and manual analysis of the same samples. The recently developed deconvolution method performed significantly better than the HSI based system when compared to manual counting as gold standard. The deconvolution system showed significantly reduced variability in the LI determination, especially of highly labeled control samples. This resulted in significant increase in sensitivity of classification of samples with increased KI-67 labeling without changing the specificity, when compared to the HSI based method.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*