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Proceedings Paper

Vessel discoloration detection in malarial retinopathy
Author(s): C. Agurto ; S. Nemeth; S. Barriga; P. Soliz; I. MacCormick; T. Taylor; S. Harding; S. Lewallen; V. Joshi
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Paper Abstract

Cerebral malaria (CM) is a life-threatening clinical syndrome associated with malarial infection. It affects approximately 200 million people, mostly sub-Saharan African children under five years of age. Malarial retinopathy (MR) is a condition in which lesions such as whitening and vessel discoloration that are highly specific to CM appear in the retina. Other unrelated diseases can present with symptoms similar to CM, therefore the exact nature of the clinical symptoms must be ascertained in order to avoid misdiagnosis, which can lead to inappropriate treatment and, potentially, death. In this paper we outline the first system to detect the presence of discolored vessels associated with MR as a means to improve the CM diagnosis. We modified and improved our previous vessel segmentation algorithm by incorporating the ‘a’ channel of the CIELab color space and noise reduction. We then divided the segmented vasculature into vessel segments and extracted features at the wall and in the centerline of the segment. Finally, we used a regression classifier to sort the segments into discolored and not-discolored vessel classes. By counting the abnormal vessel segments in each image, we were able to divide the analyzed images into two groups: normal and presence of vessel discoloration due to MR. We achieved an accuracy of 85% with sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 67%. In clinical practice, this algorithm would be combined with other MR retinal pathology detection algorithms. Therefore, a high specificity can be achieved. By choosing a different operating point in the ROC curve, our system achieved sensitivity of 67% with specificity of 100%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2016
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9785, Medical Imaging 2016: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 978519 (24 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2216917
Show Author Affiliations
C. Agurto , VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (United States)
S. Nemeth, VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (United States)
S. Barriga, VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (United States)
P. Soliz, VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (United States)
I. MacCormick, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
T. Taylor, Michigan State Univ. (United States)
S. Harding, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
S. Lewallen, Kilimanjaro Ctr. for Community of Ophthalmology (South Africa)
V. Joshi, VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9785:
Medical Imaging 2016: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Georgia D. Tourassi; Samuel G. Armato, Editor(s)

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