Title: Digital Pathology: Diagnostic Errors, Viewing Behavior and Image Characteristics
Advisor: Linda Shapiro
Supervisory Committee: Linda Shapiro (Chair), Mark Ganter (GSR, ME), Su-In Lee, and Joann Elmore (Public Health)
Abstract: Whole slide imaging technologies provide a unique opportunity to collect and analyze large amounts of data on pathologists' interactions with the digital slide. In our work, we are studying the underlying causes of diagnostic errors in histopathology. Instead of focusing on the detection of invasive cancer, we consider the full-spectrum of diagnoses that a pathologist encounters during clinical practice and aim to study misidentification and misinterpretation errors that may cause overdiagnoses or underdiagnoses. To this end, we use the digiPATH dataset that consists of 240 breast biopsies with diagnoses ranging from benign to invasive cancer, the actions of pathologists recorded during their interpretations of the slides and the diagnostic regions associated with the final diagnoses they assigned. Our work consists of three parts: region of interest localization, diagnostic classification and viewing behavior analysis.
In this talk, I will introduce a novel methodology to extract the diagnostically relevant regions of interest from pathologists' viewing behavior, and a computer vision model to detect these regions automatically on unseen images. Then, I will talk about our work on the diagnostic classification of these regions of interest, and describe our features based on tissue label segmentations of the images. Our features include a new kind of image feature defined in for the first time in this work: a sequence of histograms that together comprise the structure feature that can differentiate atypia and DCIS diagnoses more accurately than the pathologists. Finally, I will focus on two pieces of work that analyze the interpretation patterns of the pathologists on the whole slide images: I will first talk about the relationship between the identification of the correct ROI and the diagnosis. Then, I will introduce novel measurements of interpretative patterns and identify two strategies used by the pathologists: scanning and drilling and discuss how these strategies affect the diagnostic decision making process.