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Proceedings Paper

Computer-aided-diagnosis (CAD) for colposcopy
Author(s): Holger Lange; Daron G. Ferris M.D.
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Paper Abstract

Uterine cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Colposcopy is a diagnostic method, whereby a physician (colposcopist) visually inspects the lower genital tract (cervix, vulva and vagina), with special emphasis on the subjective appearance of metaplastic epithelium comprising the transformation zone on the cervix. Cervical cancer precursor lesions and invasive cancer exhibit certain distinctly abnormal morphologic features. Lesion characteristics such as margin; color or opacity; blood vessel caliber, intercapillary spacing and distribution; and contour are considered by colposcopists to derive a clinical diagnosis. Clinicians and academia have suggested and shown proof of concept that automated image analysis of cervical imagery can be used for cervical cancer screening and diagnosis, having the potential to have a direct impact on improving women’s health care and reducing associated costs. STI Medical Systems is developing a Computer-Aided-Diagnosis (CAD) system for colposcopy -- ColpoCAD. At the heart of ColpoCAD is a complex multi-sensor, multi-data and multi-feature image analysis system. A functional description is presented of the envisioned ColpoCAD system, broken down into: Modality Data Management System, Image Enhancement, Feature Extraction, Reference Database, and Diagnosis and directed Biopsies. The system design and development process of the image analysis system is outlined. The system design provides a modular and open architecture built on feature based processing. The core feature set includes the visual features used by colposcopists. This feature set can be extended to include new features introduced by new instrument technologies, like fluorescence and impedance, and any other plausible feature that can be extracted from the cervical data. Preliminary results of our research on detecting the three most important features: blood vessel structures, acetowhite regions and lesion margins are shown. As this is a new and very complex field in medical image processing, the hope is that this paper can provide a framework and basis to encourage and facilitate collaboration and discussion between industry, academia, and medical practitioners.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 April 2005
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5747, Medical Imaging 2005: Image Processing, (29 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.594658
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Lange, STI Medical Systems (United States)
Daron G. Ferris M.D., Medical College of Georgia (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5747:
Medical Imaging 2005: Image Processing
J. Michael Fitzpatrick; Joseph M. Reinhardt, Editor(s)

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