Evaluation of area-based collagen scoring by nonlinear microscopy in chronic hepatitis C-induced liver fibrosis

Biomed Opt Express. 2015 Mar 11;6(4):1209-18. doi: 10.1364/BOE.6.001209. eCollection 2015 Apr 1.


In this paper we analyze a fibrosis scoring method based on measurement of the fibrillar collagen area from second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy images of unstained histological slices from human liver biopsies. The study is conducted on a cohort of one hundred chronic hepatitis C patients with intermediate to strong Metavir and Ishak stages of liver fibrosis. We highlight a key parameter of our scoring method to discriminate between high and low fibrosis stages. Moreover, according to the intensity histograms of the SHG images and simple mathematical arguments, we show that our area-based method is equivalent to an intensity-based method, despite saturation of the images. Finally we propose an improvement of our scoring method using very simple image processing tools.

Keywords: (110.2960) Image analysis; (170.1610) Clinical applications; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.4580) Optical diagnostics for medicine; (180.4315) Nonlinear microscopy.