Journal of Toxicologic Pathology
Online ISSN : 1881-915X
Print ISSN : 0914-9198
ISSN-L : 0914-9198
Original Article
Application of convolutional neural network for analyzing hepatic fibrosis in mice
Hyun-Ji KimEun Bok BaekJi-Hee HwangMinyoung LimWon Hoon JungMyung Ae BaeHwa-Young SonJae-Woo Cho
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2023 Volume 36 Issue 1 Pages 21-30


Recently, with the development of computer vision using artificial intelligence (AI), clinical research on diagnosis and prediction using medical image data has increased. In this study, we applied AI methods to analyze hepatic fibrosis in mice to determine whether an AI algorithm can be used to analyze lesions. Whole slide image (WSI) Sirius Red staining was used to examine hepatic fibrosis. The Xception network, an AI algorithm, was used to train normal and fibrotic lesion identification. We compared the results from two analyses, that is, pathologists’ grades and researchers’ annotations, to observe whether the automated algorithm can support toxicological pathologists efficiently as a new apparatus. The accuracies of the trained model computed from the training and validation datasets were greater than 99%, and that obtained by testing the model was 100%. In the comparison between analyses, all analyses showed significant differences in the results for each group. Furthermore, both normalized fibrosis grades inferred from the trained model annotated the fibrosis area, and the grades assigned by the pathologists showed significant correlations. Notably, the deep learning algorithm derived the highest correlation with the pathologists’ average grade. Owing to the correlation outcomes, we conclude that the trained model might produce results comparable to those of the pathologists’ grading of the Sirius Red-stained WSI fibrosis. This study illustrates that the deep learning algorithm can potentially be used for analyzing fibrotic lesions in combination with Sirius Red-stained WSIs as a second opinion tool in non-clinical research.

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© 2023 The Japanese Society of Toxicologic Pathology
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