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Proceedings Paper

Classification of pulmonary airway disease based on mucosal color analysis
Author(s): Melissa Suter; Joseph M. Reinhardt; David Riker; John Scott Ferguson; Geoffrey McLennan
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Paper Abstract

Airway mucosal color changes occur in response to the development of bronchial diseases including lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. These associated changes are often visualized using standard macro-optical bronchoscopy techniques. A limitation to this form of assessment is that the subtle changes that indicate early stages in disease development may often be missed as a result of this highly subjective assessment, especially in inexperienced bronchoscopists. Tri-chromatic CCD chip bronchoscopes allow for digital color analysis of the pulmonary airway mucosa. This form of analysis may facilitate a greater understanding of airway disease response. A 2-step image classification approach is employed: the first step is to distinguish between healthy and diseased bronchoscope images and the second is to classify the detected abnormal images into 1 of 4 possible disease categories. A database of airway mucosal color constructed from healthy human volunteers is used as a standard against which statistical comparisons are made from mucosa with known apparent airway abnormalities. This approach demonstrates great promise as an effective detection and diagnosis tool to highlight potentially abnormal airway mucosa identifying a region possibly suited to further analysis via airway forceps biopsy, or newly developed micro-optical biopsy strategies. Following the identification of abnormal airway images a neural network is used to distinguish between the different disease classes. We have shown that classification of potentially diseased airway mucosa is possible through comparative color analysis of digital bronchoscope images. The combination of the two strategies appears to increase the classification accuracy in addition to greatly decreasing the computational time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 April 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5746, Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, (14 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.595938
Show Author Affiliations
Melissa Suter, Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Joseph M. Reinhardt, Univ. of Iowa (United States)
David Riker, Univ. of Iowa (United States)
John Scott Ferguson, Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Geoffrey McLennan, Univ. of Iowa (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5746:
Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images
Amir A. Amini; Armando Manduca, Editor(s)

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