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1.  Quantifying Liver Cirrhosis by Extracting Significant Features from MRI T2 Image 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:343847.
Most patients with liver cirrhosis must undergo a series of clinical examinations, including ultrasound imaging, liver biopsy, and blood tests. However, the quantification of liver cirrhosis by extracting significant features from a T2-weighted magnetic resonance image (MRI) provides useful diagnostic information in clinical tests. Sixty-two subjects were randomly selected to participate in this retrospective analysis with assigned to experimental and control groups. The T2-weighted MRI was obtained and to them dynamic adjusted gray levels. The extracted features of the image were standard deviation (SD), mean, and entropy of pixel intensity in the region of interest (ROI). The receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve, 95% confidence intervals, and kappa statistics were used to test the significance and agreement. The analysis of area under ROC shows that SD, mean, and entropy in the ROI were significant between the experimental group and the control group. Smaller values of SD, mean, and entropy were associated with a higher probability of liver cirrhosis. The agreements between the extracted features and diagnostic results were shown significantly (P < 0.001). In this investigation, quantitative features of SD, mean, and entropy in the ROI were successfully computed by the dynamic gray level scaling of T2-weighted MRI with high accuracy.
PMCID: PMC3385615  PMID: 22778696
2.  Review Analysis of the Association between the Prevalence of Activated Brown Adipose Tissue and Outdoor Temperature 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:793039.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is important for regulating body weight. Environmental temperature influences BAT activation. Activated BAT is identifiable using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT). 18F-FDG PET/CT scans done between June 2005 and May 2009 in our institution in tropical southern Taiwan and BAT studies from PubMed (2002–2011) were reviewed, and the average outdoor temperatures during the study periods were obtained. A simple linear regression was used to analyze the association between the prevalence of activated BAT (P) and the average outdoor temperature (T). The review analysis for 9 BAT studies (n = 16, 765) showed a significant negative correlation (r = −0.741, P = 0.022) between the prevalence of activated BAT and the average outdoor temperature. The equation of the regression line is P(%) = 6.99 − 0.20 × T  (°C). The prevalence of activated BAT decreased by 1% for each 5°C increase in average outdoor temperature. In a neutral ambient temperature, the prevalence of activated BAT is low and especially rare in the tropics. There is a significant linear negative correlation between the prevalence of activated BAT and the average outdoor temperature.
PMCID: PMC3349155  PMID: 22593707
3.  Analyzing Coronary Artery Disease in Patients with Low CAC Scores by 64-Slice MDCT 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:907062.
Purpose. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) scores are widely used to determine risk for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). A CAC score does not have the diagnostic accuracy needed for CAD. This work uses a novel efficient approach to predict CAD in patients with low CAC scores. Materials and Methods. The study group comprised 86 subjects who underwent a screening health examination, including laboratory testing, CAC scanning, and cardiac angiography by 64-slice multidetector computed tomographic angiography. Eleven physiological variables and three personal parameters were investigated in proposed model. Logistic regression was applied to assess the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of when using individual variables and CAC score. Meta-analysis combined physiological and personal parameters by logistic regression. Results. The diagnostic sensitivity of the CAC score was 14.3% when the CAC score was ≤30. Sensitivity increased to 57.13% using the proposed model. The statistically significant variables, based on beta values and P values, were family history, LDL-c, blood pressure, HDL-c, age, triglyceride, and cholesterol. Conclusions. The CAC score has low negative predictive value for CAD. This work applied a novel prediction method that uses patient information, including physiological and society parameters. The proposed method increases the accuracy of CAC score for predicting CAD.
PMCID: PMC3373172  PMID: 22701374
4.  The Relationship between Brown Adipose Tissue Activity and Neoplastic Status: an 18F-FDG PET/CT Study in the Tropics 
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has thermogenic potential. For its activation, cold exposure is considered a critical factor though other determinants have also been reported. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between neoplastic status and BAT activity by 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in people living in the tropics, where the influence of outdoor temperature was low.
18F-FDG PET/CT scans were reviewed and the total metabolic activity (TMA) of identified activated BAT quantified. The distribution and TMA of activated BAT were compared between patients with and without a cancer history. The neoplastic status of patients was scored according to their cancer history and 18F-FDG PET/CT findings. We evaluated the relationships between the TMA of BAT and neoplastic status along with other factors: age, body mass index, fasting blood sugar, gender, and outdoor temperature.
Thirty of 1740 patients had activated BAT. Those with a cancer history had wider BAT distribution (p = 0.043) and a higher TMA (p = 0.028) than those without. A higher neoplastic status score was associated with a higher average TMA. Multivariate analyses showed that neoplastic status was the only factor significantly associated with the TMA of activated BAT (p = 0.016).
Neoplastic status is a critical determinant of BAT activity in patients living in the tropics. More active neoplastic status was associated with more vigorous TMA of BAT.
PMCID: PMC3267802  PMID: 22182284
Neoplastic status; BAT; 18F-FDG PET

Results 1-4 (4)