Deep learning applications in visual data for benign and malignant hematologic conditions: a systematic review and visual glossary

Haematologica. 2023 Aug 1;108(8):1993-2010. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2021.280209.


Deep learning (DL) is a subdomain of artificial intelligence algorithms capable of automatically evaluating subtle graphical features to make highly accurate predictions, which was recently popularized in multiple imaging-related tasks. Because of its capabilities to analyze medical imaging such as radiology scans and digitized pathology specimens, DL has significant clinical potential as a diagnostic or prognostic tool. Coupled with rapidly increasing quantities of digital medical data, numerous novel research questions and clinical applications of DL within medicine have already been explored. Similarly, DL research and applications within hematology are rapidly emerging, although these are still largely in their infancy. Given the exponential rise of DL research for hematologic conditions, it is essential for the practising hematologist to be familiar with the broad concepts and pitfalls related to these new computational techniques. This narrative review provides a visual glossary for key deep learning principles, as well as a systematic review of published investigations within malignant and non-malignant hematologic conditions, organized by the different phases of clinical care. In order to assist the unfamiliar reader, this review highlights key portions of current literature and summarizes important considerations for the critical understanding of deep learning development and implementations in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Deep Learning*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Hematology*
  • Humans