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Proceedings Paper

Vertebral classification using localized pathology-related shape model
Author(s): R. Zewail; A. Elsafi; N. Durdle
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Paper Abstract

Radiographs of the spine are frequently examined for assessment of vertebral abnormalities. Features like osteophytes (bony growth of vertebra's corners), and disc space narrowing are often used as visual evidence of osteoarthris or degenerative joint disease. These symptoms result in remarkable changes in the shapes of the vertebral body. Statistical analysis of anatomical structure has recently gained increased popularity within the medical imaging community, since they have the potential to enhance the automated diagnosis process. In this paper, we present a novel method for computer-assisted vertebral classification using a localized, pathology-related shape model. The new classification scheme is able to assess the condition of multiple vertebrae simultaneously, hence is possible to directly classify the whole spine anatomy according to the condition of interest (anterior osteophites). At the core of this method is a new localized shape model that uses concepts of sparsity, dimension reduction, and statistical independence to extract sets of localized modes of deformations specific to each of the vertebrae under investigation. By projection of the shapes onto any specific set of deformation modes (or basis), we obtain low-dimensional features that are most directly related to the pathology of the vertebra of interest. These features are then used as input to a support vector machine classifier to classify the vertebra under investigation as normal or upnormal. Experiments are conducted using contours from digital x-ray images of five vertebrae of lumbar spine. The accuracy of the classification scheme is assessed using the ROC curves. An average specifity of 96.8 % is achieved with a sensitivity of 80 %.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6914, Medical Imaging 2008: Image Processing, 69144P (26 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.770314
Show Author Affiliations
R. Zewail, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)
A. Elsafi, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)
N. Durdle, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6914:
Medical Imaging 2008: Image Processing
Joseph M. Reinhardt; Josien P. W. Pluim, Editor(s)

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