Renal structural image processing techniques: a systematic review

Ren Fail. 2019 Nov;41(1):57-68. doi: 10.1080/0886022X.2019.1572016.


Background and objective: Renal disease, such as nephritis and nephropathy, is very harmful to human health. Accordingly, how to achieve early diagnosis and enhance treatment for kidney disorders would be the important lesion. Nevertheless, the clues from the clinical data, such as biochemistry examination, serological examination, and radiological studies are quite indirect and limited. It is no doubt that pathological examination of kidney will supply the direct evidence. There is a requirement for greater understanding of image processing techniques for renal diagnosis to optimize treatment and patient care.

Methods: This study aims to systematically review the literature on publications that has been used image processing methods on pathological microscopic image for renal diagnosis.

Results: Nine included studies revealed image analysis techniques for the diagnosis of renal abnormalities on pathological microscopic image, renal image studies are clustered as follows: Glomeruli Segmentation and analysis of the Glomerular basement membrane (55/55%), Blood vessels and tubules classification and detection (22/22%) and The Grading of renal cell carcinomas (22/22%).

Conclusions: A medical image analysis method should provide an auto-adaptive and no external-human action dependency. In addition, since medical systems should have special characteristics such as high accuracy and reliability then clinical validation is highly recommended. New high-quality studies based on Moore neighborhood contour tracking method for glomeruli segmentation and using powerful texture analysis techniques such as the local binary pattern are recommended.

Keywords: Biopsy; Glomeruli segmentation; image analysis; pathology; renal.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Neoplasm Grading / methods
  • Nephritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Nephritis / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results