Multispectral imaging and pathology: Seeing and doing more

Richard M Levenson, Alessandro Fornari, Massimo Loda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: The current appreciation of the biological complexity of disease has led to increasing demands on pathologists to provide clinically relevant, quantitative morphological and molecular information while preserving cellular and tissue context. This can be technically challenging, especially when signals of interest are colocalized. With fluorescence-based methods, sensitivity and quantitative reliability may be compromised by spectral cross-talk between labels and by autofluorescence. In brightfield microscopy, over lapping chromogenic signals pose similar imaging difficulties. Approach: These challenges can be addressed using commercially available multispectral imaging technologies attached to standard microscope platforms, or alternatively, integrated into whole-slide scanning instruments. Assessment: Multispectral techniques, along with other developments in digital analysis, will allow pathologists to deliver appropriate quantitative and multiplexed analyses in a reproducible and timely manner. Caveats apply- as the complexity of the sample preparation and analysis components increases, commensurate attention must be paid to the use of appropriate controls for all stages of the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1081
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Medical Diagnostics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Image analysis
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Machine-vision
  • Multispectral imaging
  • Oncology
  • Pathology
  • Personalized medicine
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Molecular Medicine


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