The field of anatomic pathology has changed significantly over the last decades and, as a result of the technological developments in molecular pathology and genetics, has had increasing pressures put on it to become quantitative and to provide more information about protein expression on a cellular level in tissue sections. Multispectral imaging (MSI) has a long history as an advanced imaging modality and has been used for over a decade now in pathology to improve quantitative accuracy, enable the analysis of multicolor immunohistochemistry, and drastically reduce the impact of contrast-robbing tissue autofluorescence common in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. When combined with advanced software for the automated segmentation of different tissue morphologies (eg, tumor vs stroma) and cellular and subcellular segmentation, MSI can enable the per-cell quantitation of many markers simultaneously. This article covers the role that MSI has played in anatomic pathology in the analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, discusses the technological aspects of why MSI has been adopted, and provides a review of the literature of the application of MSI in anatomic pathology.
Keywords: immunofluorescence; multicolor immunohistochemistry; multispectral imaging; pathology; per-cell quantitation; tissue cytometry.