Background: Histopathological analysis is the cornerstone in bladder cancer (BCa) diagnosis. These analysis suffer from a moderate observer agreement in the staging of bladder cancer. Three-dimensional reconstructions have the potential to support the pathologists in visualizing spatial arrangements of structures, which may improve the interpretation of specimen. The aim of this study is to present three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of histology images. Methods: En-bloc specimens of transurethral bladder tumour resections were formalin fixed and paraffin embedded. Specimens were cut into sections of 4 μm and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E). With a Phillips IntelliSite UltraFast scanner, glass slides were digitized at 20x magnification. The digital images were aligned by performing rigid and affine image alignment. The tumour and the muscularis propria (MP) were manually delineated to create 3D segmentations. In conjunction with a 3D display, the results were visualized with the Vesalius3D interactive visualization application for a 3D workstation. Results: En-bloc resection was performed in 21 BCa patients. Per case, 26-30 sections were included for the reconstruction into a 3D volume. Five cases were excluded due to export problems, size of the dataset or condition of the tissue block. Qualitative evaluation suggested an accurate registration for 13 out of 16 cases. The segmentations allowed full 3D visualization and evaluation of the spatial relationship of the BCa tumour and the MP. Conclusion: Digital scanning of en-bloc resected specimens allows a full-fledged 3D reconstruction and analysis and has a potential role to support pathologists in the staging of BCa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)25
JournalDiagnostic pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019


  • 3D
  • Bladder cancer; digital pathology
  • En-bloc
  • Tumour reconstruction

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