Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Renal Pathology: Advances and Prospects

 Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Renal Pathology: Advances and Prospects

Simplified workflow for AI-assisted technology in renal pathology.

Digital imaging and advanced microscopy play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of kidney diseases. In recent years, great achievements have been made in digital imaging, providing novel approaches for precise quantitative assessments of nephropathology and relieving burdens of renal pathologists.

Developing novel methods of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology through multidisciplinary interaction among computer engineers, renal specialists, and nephropathologists could prove beneficial for renal pathology diagnoses. An increasing number of publications has demonstrated the rapid growth of AI-based technology in nephrology.

In a recent review, Wang et al. offer an overview of AI-assisted renal pathology, including AI concepts and the workflow of processing digital image data, focusing on the impressive advances of AI application in disease-specific backgrounds.

In particular, the authors describe:

  • The applied computer vision algorithms for the segmentation of kidney structures,
  • Diagnosis of specific pathological changes,
  • Prognosis prediction based on images.
  • Challenges and prospects to provide an objective view of this topic.

AI has profoundly changed the traditional clinical models used in the past decades, especially in oncology and radiology. Unfortunately, compared with flourishing advancements in other fields such as hepatology and neurology, AI-assisted technology in nephrology is still immature. The tremendous diversity in disease progression, outcomes, and responses to therapy also increases the difficulty of algorithm design, which becomes an obstacle to the implementation of AI-assisted technology in nephropathology. Despite the challenges, opportunities also await.

The committee of AI & Nephrology will dedicate a whole session to cover the implication and use of AI in chronic renal pathologies.

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