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Logo of bmcmidmBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
 
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2012; 12: 55.
Published online Jun 20, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1472-6947-12-55
PMCID: PMC3444307
Artificial neural network aided non-invasive grading evaluation of hepatic fibrosis by duplex ultrasonography
Li Zhang,#1 Qiao-ying LI,#1 Yun-you Duan,corresponding author1 Guo-zhen Yan,1 Yi-lin Yang,1 and Rui-jing Yang1
1Department of Ultrasound Diagnosis, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
#Contributed equally.
Li Zhang: lilyzhang319_20/at/hotmail.com; Qiao-ying LI: Qiaoyingli/at/hotmail.com; Yun-you Duan: duanyy/at/fmmu.edu.cn; Guo-zhen Yan: YGZ670708/at/163.com; Yi-lin Yang: yangyl66/at/126.com; Rui-jing Yang: jingxa/at/163.com
Received November 11, 2011; Accepted June 11, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are widely studied for evaluating diseases. This paper discusses the intelligence mode of an ANN in grading the diagnosis of liver fibrosis by duplex ultrasonogaphy.
Methods
239 patients who were confirmed as having liver fibrosis or cirrhosis by ultrasound guided liver biopsy were investigated in this study. We quantified ultrasonographic parameters as significant parameters using a data optimization procedure applied to an ANN. 179 patients were typed at random as the training group; 60 additional patients were consequently enrolled as the validating group. Performance of the ANN was evaluated according to accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, Youden’s index and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
Results
5 ultrasonographic parameters; i.e., the liver parenchyma, thickness of spleen, hepatic vein (HV) waveform, hepatic artery pulsatile index (HAPI) and HV damping index (HVDI), were enrolled as the input neurons in the ANN model. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the ANN model for quantitative diagnosis of liver fibrosis were 95.0%, 85.0% and 88.3%, respectively. The Youden’s index (YI) was 0.80.
Conclusions
The established ANN model had good sensitivity and specificity in quantitative diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis or liver cirrhosis. Our study suggests that the ANN model based on duplex ultrasound may help non-invasive grading diagnosis of liver fibrosis in clinical practice.
Keywords: Artificial neural network, Ultrasound diagnosis, Hepatic fibrosis
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