A framework for white blood cell segmentation in microscopic blood images using digital image processing

Biol Proced Online. 2009 Jun 11;11:196-206. doi: 10.1007/s12575-009-9011-2.


Evaluation of blood smear is a commonly clinical test these days. Most of the time, the hematologists are interested on white blood cells (WBCs) only. Digital image processing techniques can help them in their analysis and diagnosis. For example, disease like acute leukemia is detected based on the amount and condition of the WBC. The main objective of this paper is to segment the WBC to its two dominant elements: nucleus and cytoplasm. The segmentation is conducted using a proposed segmentation framework that consists of an integration of several digital image processing algorithms. Twenty microscopic blood images were tested, and the proposed framework managed to obtain 92% accuracy for nucleus segmentation and 78% for cytoplasm segmentation. The results indicate that the proposed framework is able to extract the nucleus and cytoplasm region in a WBC image sample.