AGMDT: Virtual Staining of Renal Histology Images with Adjacency-Guided Multi-Domain Transfer

Tao Ma (Peking University),* Chao Zhang (Peking University), MIN LU (Peking University Health Science Center), Lin Luo (Peking University)
The 34th British Machine Vision Conference


Renal pathology, as the gold standard of kidney disease diagnosis, requires doctors to analyze a series of tissue slices stained by H&E staining and special staining like Masson, PASM, and PAS, respectively. These special staining methods are costly, time-consuming, and hard to standardize for wide use especially in primary hospitals. Advances of supervised learning methods have enabled the virtually conversion of H&E images into special staining images, but achieving pixel-to-pixel alignment for training remains challenging. In contrast, unsupervised learning methods regarding different stains as different style transfer domains can utilize unpaired data, but they ignore the spatial inter-domain correlations and thus decrease the trustworthiness of structural details for diagnosis. In this paper, we propose a novel virtual staining framework AGMDT to translate images into other domains by avoiding pixel-level alignment and meanwhile utilizing the correlations among adjacent tissue slices. We first build a high-quality multi-domain renal histological dataset where each specimen case comprises a series of slices stained in various ways. Based on it, the proposed framework AGMDT discovers patch-level aligned pairs across the serial slices of multi-domains through glomerulus detection and bipartite graph matching, and utilizes such correlations to supervise the end-to-end model for multi-domain staining transformation. Experimental results show that the proposed AGMDT achieves a good balance between the precise pixel-level alignment and unpaired domain transfer by exploiting correlations across multi-domain serial pathological slices, and outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in both quantitative measure and morphological details.



author    = {Tao Ma and Chao Zhang and MIN LU and Lin Luo},
title     = {AGMDT: Virtual Staining of Renal Histology Images with Adjacency-Guided Multi-Domain Transfer},
booktitle = {34th British Machine Vision Conference 2023, {BMVC} 2023, Aberdeen, UK, November 20-24, 2023},
publisher = {BMVA},
year      = {2023},
url       = {}

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