Mahmood Lab develops deep learning model for transforming tissue images: Nature Biomedical Engineering 2022

Histological artefacts in cryosectioned tissue can hinder rapid diagnostic assessments during surgery. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue provides higher quality slides, but the process for obtaining them is laborious (typically lasting 12–48 h) and hence unsuitable for intra-operative use. Here we report the development and performance of a deep-learning model that improves the quality of cryosectioned whole-slide images by transforming them into the style of whole-slide FFPE tissue within minutes. The model consists of a generative adversarial network incorporating an attention mechanism that rectifies cryosection artefacts and a self-regularization constraint between the cryosectioned and FFPE images for the preservation of clinically relevant features. Transformed FFPE-style images of gliomas and of non-small-cell lung cancers from a dataset independent from that used to train the model improved the rates of accurate tumour subtyping by pathologists.

Ozyoruk, K.B., Can, S., Darbaz, B. et al. A deep-learning model for transforming the style of tissue images from cryosectioned to formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded. Nat. Biomed. Eng 6, 1407–1419 (2022).