A Vendor-Neutral Library and Viewer for Whole-Slide Images

| June 17, 2008

Paper by Adam Goode and M. Saryanarayanan at Carnegie Mellon University

Introduction of paper:

Whole-slide images, also known as virtual slides, are large, high resolution images used in digital pathology. Reading these images using standard image tools or libraries is a challenge because these tools are typically designed for images that can comfortably be uncompressed into RAM or a swap file. Whole-slide images routinely exceed RAM sizes, often occupying tens of gigabytes when uncompressed. Additionally, whole-slide images are typically multi-resolution, and only a small amount of image data might be needed at a particular resolution.

There is no universal data format for whole-slide images, so each vendor implements its own formats, libraries, and viewers. Vendors typically do not document their formats. Even when there is documentation, important details are omitted. Because a vendor’s library or viewer is the only way to view a particular whole-slide image, doctors and researchers can be unnecessarily tied to a particular vendor. Finally, few (if any) vendors provide libraries and viewers for non-Windows platforms. Some have gone with a server approach, pushing tiles through a web server, or using Java applets, but these approaches have shortcomings in high-latency or non-networked environments.

In this paper, we present a solution to this problem in the form of a vendor-neutral library for reading whole-slide images, as well as a simple but powerful viewer built on top of the library.

Download CMU-CS-08-136.pdf (2425.8K)

Category: Digital Pathology News, Publications

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