Edinburgh Research Explorer

A Comparative Study of 2 Computer-assisted Methods of Quantifying Brightfield Microscopy Images

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-470
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Abstract

Immunohistochemistry continues to be a powerful tool for the detection of antigens. There are several commercially available software packages that allow image analysis; however, these can be complex, require relatively high level of computer skills, and can be expensive. We compared 2 commonly available software packages, Adobe Photoshop CS6 and ImageJ, in their ability to quantify percentage positive area after picrosirius red (PSR) staining and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) staining. On analysis of DAB-stained B cells in the mouse spleen, with a biotinylated primary rat anti-mouse-B220 antibody, there was no significant difference on converting images from brightfield microscopy to binary images to measure black and white pixels using ImageJ compared with measuring a range of brown pixels with Photoshop (Student t test, P=0.243, correlation r=0.985). When analyzing mouse kidney allografts stained with PSR, Photoshop achieved a greater interquartile range while maintaining a lower 10th percentile value compared with analysis with ImageJ. A lower 10% percentile reflects that Photoshop analysis is better at analyzing tissues with low levels of positive pixels; particularly relevant for control tissues or negative controls, whereas after ImageJ analysis the same images would result in spuriously high levels of positivity. Furthermore comparing the 2 methods by Bland-Altman plot revealed that these 2 methodologies did not agree when measuring images with a higher percentage of positive staining and correlation was poor (r=0.804). We conclude that for computer-assisted analysis of images of DAB-stained tissue there is no difference between using Photoshop or ImageJ. However, for analysis of color images where differentiation into a binary pattern is not easy, such as with PSR, Photoshop is superior at identifying higher levels of positivity while maintaining differentiation of low levels of positive staining.

ID: 6295870