Advances in handheld computing now allow review of DICOM datasets from remote locations. As the diagnostic ability of this tool is unproven, we evaluated the ability to diagnose acute appendicitis on abdominal CT using a mobile DICOM viewer. This HIPAA compliant study was IRB-approved. Twenty-five abdominal CT studies from patients with RLQ pain were interpreted on a handheld device (iPhone) using a DICOM viewer (OsiriX mobile) by five radiologists. All patients had surgical confirmation of acute appendicitis or follow-up confirming no acute appendicitis. Studies were evaluated for the ability to find the appendix, maximum appendiceal diameter, presence of an appendicolith, periappendiceal stranding and fluid, abscess, and an assessment of the diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Results were compared to PACS workstation. Fifteen cases of acute appendicitis were correctly identified on 98% of interpretations, with no false-positives. Eight appendicoliths were correctly identified on 88% of interpretations. Three abscesses were correctly identified by all readers. Handheld device measurement of appendiceal diameter had a mean 8.6% larger than PACS measurements (p = 0.035). Evaluation for acute appendicitis on abdominal CT studies using a portable device DICOM viewer can be performed with good concordance to reads performed on PACS workstations.
Appendicitis; Computed tomography; Gastrointestinal; Mobile; Teleradiology
This paper presents novel multiple keywords annotation for medical images, keyword-based medical image retrieval, and relevance feedback method for image retrieval for enhancing image retrieval performance. For semantic keyword annotation, this study proposes a novel medical image classification method combining local wavelet-based center symmetric–local binary patterns with random forests. For keyword-based image retrieval, our retrieval system use the confidence score that is assigned to each annotated keyword by combining probabilities of random forests with predefined body relation graph. To overcome the limitation of keyword-based image retrieval, we combine our image retrieval system with relevance feedback mechanism based on visual feature and pattern classifier. Compared with other annotation and relevance feedback algorithms, the proposed method shows both improved annotation performance and accurate retrieval results.
Image annotation; Random forests; Confidence score; Body relation graph; Relevance feedback
The measurement of angles between anatomical structures is common in radiological and orthopedic practice. Frequently used measurements include scapholunate angle for assessment of wrist instability and Cobb’s angle used for assessment of scoliosis. Measurements of these angles are easily performed on plain X-ray radiographs. However, the situation is more complicated when these measurements are to be performed on cross-sectional (CT or MRI) examinations. On some of the diagnostic workstations, it is not possible to perform angle measurements between the structures if they are not identified on the same image and are located on different images of the same projection or plane. We present a simple solution to measure angles between structures on different images that can be used both in CT and MR.
Computed tomography; Image viewer; Magnetic resonance imaging
In the filmless imaging department, an integrated imaging and reporting system is only as strong as its weakest link. An outage or downtime of a key segment, such as the Picture Archive Communications System (PACS), is a significant threat to efficient workflow, quality of image interpretation, ordering clinician’s review, and ultimately patient care. A multidisciplinary team (including physicists, technologists, radiologists, operations, and IT) developed a backup system to provide business continuity (i.e., quality control, interpretation, reporting, and clinician access) during an extended outage of the main departmental PACS.
Computer hardware; Computer networks; Computers in medicine
This paper describes development of a decision support system for diagnosis of malaria using color image analysis. A hematologist has to study around 100 to 300 microscopic views of Giemsa-stained thin blood smear images to detect malaria parasites, evaluate the extent of infection and to identify the species of the parasite. The proposed algorithm picks up the suspicious regions and detects the parasites in images of all the views. The subimages representing all these parasites are put together to form a composite image which can be sent over a communication channel to obtain the opinion of a remote expert for accurate diagnosis and treatment. We demonstrate the use of the proposed technique for use as a decision support system by developing an android application which facilitates the communication with a remote expert for the final confirmation on the decision for treatment of malaria. Our algorithm detects around 96% of the parasites with a false positive rate of 20%. The Spearman correlation r was 0.88 with a confidence interval of 0.838 to 0.923, p < 0.0001.
Color image analysis; Decision support system; Telemedicine; Malaria diagnosis
Gold chloride technique can be combined with Adobe Photoshop® software to yield a quantitative assessment of the different areas in heterogeneous structures as are ligament. A semi-automatized method based on the sum of two- and three-dimensional morphological criteria upon colorimetric criteria allows the identification and measurement of the area occupied by a structure of interest. It also allows the quantification of color intensity to differentiate structures with similar staining avidity, like vessels and nerves. This computer-assisted, semiquantitative procedure for computerized morphometry is relatively simple to perform. The accuracy, efficiency, and reproducibility of this method based on a commercially available imaging program were considered adequate when tested on the anterior cruciate ligament of the cat. Image normalization by trained observers using a commercially available software package designed for photography, applied to a sample randomly chosen, has provided the means of making reproducible measurements of heterogeneous structures.
Adobe Photoshop®; Proprioception; Gold chloride; Anterior cruciate ligament; Colorimetry; Computer-assisted morphometry
In a computer-aided diagnosis (CADx) scheme for evaluating the likelihood of malignancy of clustered microcalcifications on mammograms, it is necessary to segment individual calcifications correctly. The purpose of this study was to develop a computerized segmentation method for individual calcifications with various sizes while maintaining their shapes in the CADx schemes. Our database consisted of 96 magnification mammograms with 96 clustered microcalcifications. In our proposed method, a mammogram image was decomposed into horizontal subimages, vertical subimages, and diagonal subimages for a second difference at scales 1 to 4 by using a filter bank. The enhanced subimages for nodular components (NCs) and the enhanced subimages for both nodular and linear components (NLCs) were obtained from analysis of a Hessian matrix composed of the pixel values in those subimages for the second difference at each scale. At each pixel, eight objective features were given by pixel values in the subimages for NCs at scales 1 to 4 and the subimages for NLCs at scales 1 to 4. An artificial neural network with the eight objective features was employed to enhance calcifications on magnification mammograms. Calcifications were finally segmented by applying a gray-level thresholding technique to the enhanced image for calcifications. With the proposed method, a sensitivity of calcifications within clustered microcalcifications and the number of false positives per image were 96.5% (603/625) and 1.69, respectively. The average shape accuracy for segmented calcifications was also 91.4%. The proposed method with high sensitivity of calcifications while maintaining their shapes would be useful in the CADx schemes.
Computerized segmentation; Calcification; Magnification mammogram; Multiresolution analysis; Artificial neural network
Traditionally, image studies evaluating the effectiveness of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) use a single label from a medical expert compared with a single label produced by CAD. The purpose of this research is to present a CAD system based on Belief Decision Tree classification algorithm, capable of learning from probabilistic input (based on intra-reader variability) and providing probabilistic output. We compared our approach against a traditional decision tree approach with respect to a traditional performance metric (accuracy) and a probabilistic one (area under the distance–threshold curve—AuCdt). The probabilistic classification technique showed notable performance improvement in comparison with the traditional one with respect to both evaluation metrics. Specifically, when applying cross-validation technique on the training subset of instances, boosts of 28.26% and 30.28% were noted for the probabilistic approach with respect to accuracy and AuCdt, respectively. Furthermore, on the validation subset of instances, boosts of 20.64% and 23.21% were noted again for the probabilistic approach with respect to the same two metrics. In addition, we compared our CAD system results with diagnostic data available for a small subset of the Lung Image Database Consortium database. We discovered that when our CAD system errs, it generally does so with low confidence. Predictions produced by the system also agree with diagnoses of truly benign nodules more often than radiologists, offering the possibility of reducing the false positives.
Chest CT; Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD); Feature extraction; Image analysis; Machine learning; Radiographic image interpretation; Computer-assisted
Image de-identification has focused on the removal of textual protected health information (PHI). Surface reconstructions of the face have the potential to reveal a subject’s identity even when textual PHI is absent. This study assessed the ability of a computer application to match research subjects’ 3D facial reconstructions with conventional photographs of their face. In a prospective study, 29 subjects underwent CT scans of the head and had frontal digital photographs of their face taken. Facial reconstructions of each CT dataset were generated on a 3D workstation. In phase 1, photographs of the 29 subjects undergoing CT scans were added to a digital directory and tested for recognition using facial recognition software. In phases 2–4, additional photographs were added in groups of 50 to increase the pool of possible matches and the test for recognition was repeated. As an internal control, photographs of all subjects were tested for recognition against an identical photograph. Of 3D reconstructions, 27.5% were matched correctly to corresponding photographs (95% upper CL, 40.1%). All study subject photographs were matched correctly to identical photographs (95% lower CL, 88.6%). Of 3D reconstructions, 96.6% were recognized simply as a face by the software (95% lower CL, 83.5%). Facial recognition software has the potential to recognize features on 3D CT surface reconstructions and match these with photographs, with implications for PHI.
Facial recognition; Privacy; 3D Reconstruction; 3D Imaging (imaging, three-dimensional); HIPPA
Surgeons have to deal with many devices from different vendors within the operating room during surgery. Independent communication standards are necessary for the system integration of these devices. For implantations, three new extensions of the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard make use of a common communication standard that may optimise one of the surgeon's presently very time-consuming daily tasks. The paper provides a brief description of these DICOM Supplements and gives recommendations to their application in practice based on workflows that are proposed to be covered by the new standard extension. Two of the workflows are described in detail and separated into phases that are supported by the new data structures. Examples for the application of the standard within these phases give an impression of the potential usage. Even if the presented workflows are from different domains, we identified a generic core that may benefit from the surgical DICOM Supplements. In some steps of the workflows, the surgical DICOM Supplements are able to replace or optimise conventional methods. Standardisation can only be a means for integration and interoperability. Thus, it can be used as the basis for new applications and system architectures. The influence on current applications and communication processes is limited. Additionally, the supplements provide the basis for further applications, such as the support of surgical navigation systems. Given the support of all involved stakeholders, it is possible to provide a benefit for surgeons and patients.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM); Infrastructure; Medical devices; Navigation
Chest radiologists rely on the segmentation and quantificational analysis of ground-glass opacities (GGO) to perform imaging diagnoses that evaluate the disease severity or recovery stages of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases. However, it is computationally difficult to segment and analyze patterns of GGO while compared with other lung diseases, since GGO usually do not have clear boundaries. In this paper, we present a new approach which automatically segments GGO in lung computed tomography (CT) images using algorithms derived from Markov random field theory. Further, we systematically evaluate the performance of the algorithms in segmenting GGO in lung CT images under different situations. CT image studies from 41 patients with diffuse lung diseases were enrolled in this research. The local distributions were modeled with both simple and adaptive (AMAP) models of maximum a posteriori (MAP). For best segmentation, we used the simulated annealing algorithm with a Gibbs sampler to solve the combinatorial optimization problem of MAP estimators, and we applied a knowledge-guided strategy to reduce false positive regions. We achieved AMAP-based GGO segmentation results of 86.94%, 94.33%, and 94.06% in average sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, respectively, and we evaluated the performance using radiologists’ subjective evaluation and quantificational analysis and diagnosis. We also compared the results of AMAP-based GGO segmentation with those of support vector machine-based methods, and we discuss the reliability and other issues of AMAP-based GGO segmentation. Our research results demonstrate the acceptability and usefulness of AMAP-based GGO segmentation for assisting radiologists in detecting GGO in high-resolution CT diagnostic procedures.
Image segmentation; Lung diseases; Markov chains; Tomography; X-ray computed
In medio-lateral oblique view of mammogram, pectoral muscle may sometimes affect the detection of breast cancer due to their similar characteristics with abnormal tissues. As a result pectoral muscle should be handled separately while detecting the breast cancer. In this paper, a novel approach for the detection of pectoral muscle using average gradient- and shape-based feature is proposed. The process first approximates the pectoral muscle boundary as a straight line using average gradient-, position-, and shape-based features of the pectoral muscle. Straight line is then tuned to a smooth curve which represents the pectoral margin more accurately. Finally, an enclosed region is generated which represents the pectoral muscle as a segmentation mask. The main advantage of the method is its’ simplicity as well as accuracy. The method is applied on 200 mammographic images consisting 80 randomly selected scanned film images from Mammographic Image Analysis Society (mini-MIAS) database, 80 direct radiography (DR) images, and 40 computed radiography (CR) images from local database. The performance is evaluated based upon the false positive (FP), false negative (FN) pixel percentage, and mean distance closest point (MDCP). Taking all the images into consideration, the average FP and FN pixel percentages are 4.22%, 3.93%, 18.81%, and 6.71%, 6.28%, 5.12% for mini-MIAS, DR, and CR images, respectively. Obtained MDCP values for the same set of database are 3.34, 3.33, and 10.41 respectively. The method is also compared with two well-known pectoral muscle detection techniques and in most of the cases, it outperforms the other two approaches.
Adaptive band division; Biomedical image analysis; Breast cancer; Mammography; Pectoral muscle; Segmentation
3D imaging systems are used to construct high-resolution meshes of patient’s heads that can be analyzed by computer algorithms. Our work starts with such 3D head meshes and produces both global and local descriptors of 3D shape. Since these descriptors are numeric feature vectors, they can be used in both classification and quantification of various different abnormalities. In this paper, we define these descriptors, describe our methodology for constructing them from 3D head meshes, and show through a set of classification experiments involving cases and controls for a genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome that they are suitable for use in craniofacial research studies. The main contributions of this work include: automatic generation of novel global and local data representations, robust automatic placement of anthropometric landmarks, generation of local descriptors for nasal and oral facial features from landmarks, use of local descriptors for predicting various local facial features, and use of global features for 22q11.2DS classification, showing their potential use as descriptors in craniofacial research.
Image analysis; Imaging; Three-dimensional; Data mining
Reading room design can have a major impact on radiologists’ health, productivity, and accuracy in reading. Several factors must be taken into account in order to optimize the work environment for radiologists. Further, with the advancement in imaging technology, clinicians now have the ability to view and see digital exams without having to interact with radiologists. However, it is important to design components that encourage and enhance interactions between clinicians and radiologists to increase patient safety, and to combine physician and radiologist expertise. The present study evaluates alternative workstations in a real-world testbed space, using qualitative data (users’ perspectives) to measure satisfaction with the lighting, ergonomics, furniture, collaborative spaces, and radiologist workstations. In addition, we consider the impact of the added collaboration components of the future reading room design, by utilizing user evaluation surveys to devise baseline satisfaction data regarding the innovative reading room environment.
Radiology reading room; Ergonomics; User evaluation; Musculoskeletal
The use of the endovascular prostheses in abdominal aortic aneurysm has proven to be an effective technique to reduce the pressure and rupture risk of aneurysm. Nevertheless, in a long-term perspective, complications such as leaks inside the aneurysm sac (endoleaks) could appear causing a pressure elevation and increasing the danger of rupture consequently. At present, computed tomographic angiography (CTA) is the most common examination for medical surveillance. However, endoleak complications cannot always be detected by visual inspection on CTA scans. The investigation on new techniques to detect endoleaks and analyse their effects on treatment evolution is of great importance for endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) technique. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the capability of texture features obtained from the aneurysmatic thrombus CT images to discriminate different types of evolutions caused by endoleaks. The regions of interest (ROIs) from patients with different post-EVAR evolution were extracted by experienced radiologists. Three techniques were applied to each ROI to obtain texture parameters, namely the grey level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM), the grey level run length matrix (GLRLM) and the grey level difference method (GLDM). The results showed that GLCM, GLRLM and GLDM features presented a good discrimination ability to differentiate between favourable or unfavourable evolutions. GLCM was the most efficient in terms of classification accuracy (93.41% ± 0.024) followed by GLRLM (90.17% ± 0.077) and finally by GLDM (81.98% ± 0.045). According to the results, we can consider texture analysis as complementary information to classified abdominal aneurysm evolution after EVAR.
Aneurysm; EVAR; Texture features; Neural network
Attending radiologists routinely edit radiology trainee dictated preliminary reports as part of standard workflow models. Time constraints, high volume, and spatial separation may not always facilitate clear discussion of these changes with trainees. However, these edits can represent significant teaching moments that are lost if they are not communicated back to trainees. We created an electronic method for retrieving and displaying changes made to resident written preliminary reports by attending radiologists during the process of radiology report finalization. The Radiology Information System is queried. Preliminary and final radiology reports, as well as report metadata, are extracted and stored in a database indexed by accession number and trainee/radiologist identity. A web application presents to trainees their 100 most recent preliminary and final report pairs both side by side and in a “track changes” mode. Web utilization audits showed regular utilization by trainees. Surveyed residents stated they compared reports for educational value, to improve future reports, and to improve patient care. Residents stated that they compared reports more frequently after deployment of this software solution and that regular assessment of their work using the Report Comparator allowed them to routinely improve future report quality and improved radiological understanding. In an era with increasing workload demands, trainee work hour restrictions, and decentralization of department resources (e.g., faculty, PACS), this solution helps to retain an important part of the educational experience that would have otherwise run the risk of being lost and provides it to the trainees in an efficient and highly consumable manner.
Communication; Computers in medicine; Continuing medical education; Databases; Medical education; Efficiency; Electronic medical record; Electronic teaching file; Internship and residency; Internet; Interpretation errors; Medical records systems; PACS support; Radiology reporting
Diabetic retinopathy has become an increasingly important cause of blindness. Nevertheless, vision loss can be prevented from early detection of diabetic retinopathy and monitor with regular examination. Common automatic detection of retinal abnormalities is for microaneurysms, hemorrhages, hard exudates, and cotton wool spot. However, there is a worse case of retinal abnormality, but not much research was done to detect it. It is neovascularization where new blood vessels grow due to extensive lack of oxygen in the retinal capillaries. This paper shows that various combination of techniques such as image normalization, compactness classifier, morphology-based operator, Gaussian filtering, and thresholding techniques were used in developing of neovascularization detection. A function matrix box was added in order to classify the neovascularization from natural blood vessel. A region-based neovascularization classification was attempted as a diagnostic accuracy. The developed method was tested on images from different database sources with varying quality and image resolution. It shows that specificity and sensitivity results were 89.4% and 63.9%, respectively. The proposed approach yield encouraging results for future development.
Biomedical Image Analysis; Digital Image Processing; Image Segmentation; Feature selection; Diabetic Retinopathy; Neovascularization
Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scanners produce high-resolution images of the chest. Given a patient’s MDCT scan, a physician can use an image-guided intervention system to first plan and later perform bronchoscopy to diagnostic sites situated deep in the lung periphery. An accurate definition of complete routes through the airway tree leading to the diagnostic sites, however, is vital for avoiding navigation errors during image-guided bronchoscopy. We present a system for the robust definition of complete airway routes suitable for image-guided bronchoscopy. The system incorporates both automatic and semiautomatic MDCT analysis methods for this purpose. Using an intuitive graphical user interface, the user invokes automatic analysis on a patient’s MDCT scan to produce a series of preliminary routes. Next, the user visually inspects each route and quickly corrects the observed route defects using the built-in semiautomatic methods. Application of the system to a human study for the planning and guidance of peripheral bronchoscopy demonstrates the efficacy of the system.
3D pulmonary imaging; Procedure planning; Image-guided intervention; Bronchoscopy; Lung cancer; MDCT; Virtual bronchoscopic navigation; Route planning
In this paper, we introduce an ontology-based technology that bridges the gap between MR images on the one hand and knowledge sources on the other hand. The proposed technology allows the user to express interest in a body region by selecting this region on the MR image he or she is viewing with a mouse device. The proposed technology infers the intended body structure from the manual selection and searches the external knowledge source for pertinent information. This technology can be used to bridge the gap between image data in the clinical workflow and (external) knowledge sources that help to assess the case with increased certainty, accuracy, and efficiency. We evaluate an instance of the proposed technology in the neurodomain by means of a user study in which three neuroradiologists participated. The user study shows that the technology has high recall (>95%) when it comes to inferring the intended brain region from the participant’s manual selection. We are confident that this helps to increase the experience of browsing external knowledge sources.
Human–computer interaction; Image navigation; Image segmentation; Natural language processing; Artificial intelligence
Our goal was to investigate the effect of displayed image magnification on perception of the size of hepatic lesions on abdominal computed tomography (CT) scans. Institutional review board approval and informed observer consent were obtained. Three experienced radiologists reviewed 90 CT image pairs in one session. Each image pair demonstrated a solitary, well-defined hypodense hepatic lesion measuring greater than 1 cm obtained at two points in time. The image pairs were presented three times in random order, once with the left image magnified, once with the right image magnified, and once with neither image magnified. The radiologists were asked to determine on which image the lesion was smaller or if there was no difference. The responses were analyzed statistically. The proportion of correct responses increased significantly as the difference in lesion size increased (p < 0.001). The percent of correct responses was higher when neither CT image was magnified. Magnification of one image decreased the accuracy of the readers’ performance, especially at smaller differences, both of which were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Thus, accuracy of detecting lesion size differences was degraded when the images were presented at differing magnification. This should be kept in mind when evaluating serial CT scans for growth or regression of tumors and other lesions.
Computed tomography; Image perception; Magnification; Measurement
In this paper, we describe and evaluate a system that extracts clinical findings and body locations from radiology reports and correlates them. The system uses Medical Language Extraction and Encoding System (MedLEE) to map the reports’ free text to structured semantic representations of their content. A lightweight reasoning engine extracts the clinical findings and body locations from MedLEE’s semantic representation and correlates them. Our study is illustrative for research in which existing natural language processing software is embedded in a larger system. We manually created a standard reference based on a corpus of neuro and breast radiology reports. The standard reference was used to evaluate the precision and recall of the proposed system and its modules. Our results indicate that the precision of our system is considerably better than its recall (82.32–91.37% vs. 35.67–45.91%). We conducted an error analysis and discuss here the practical usability of the system given its recall and precision performance.
Natural language processing; Knowledge base; Data extraction; BI-RADS
Validation of medical signal and image processing systems requires quality-assured, representative and generally acknowledged databases accompanied by appropriate reference (ground truth) and clinical metadata, which are composed laboriously for each project and are not shared with the scientific community. In our vision, such data will be stored centrally in an open repository. We propose an architecture for a standardized case data and ground truth information repository supporting the evaluation and analysis of computer-aided diagnosis based on (a) the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) provided by the NASA Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (ISO 14721:2003), (b) the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) Element Set (ISO 15836:2009), (c) the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, and (d) the Image Retrieval in Medical Applications (IRMA) framework. In our implementation, a portal bunches all of the functionalities that are needed for data submission and retrieval. The complete life cycle of the data (define, create, store, sustain, share, use, and improve) is managed. Sophisticated search tools make it easier to use the datasets, which may be merged from different providers. An integrated history record guarantees reproducibility. A standardized creation report is generated with a permanent digital object identifier. This creation report must be referenced by all of the data users. Peer-reviewed e-publishing of these reports will create a reputation for the data contributors and will form de-facto standards regarding image and signal datasets. Good practice guidelines for validation methodology complement the concept of the case repository. This procedure will increase the comparability of evaluation studies for medical signal and image processing methods and applications.
Signal processing; Image processing; Evaluation research; Data collection; Database management systems; Databases; Digital libraries; Electronic manuscripts; Image libraries; Medical Imaging Resource Center (MIRC); Content-based image retrieval; Computer-aided diagnosis; Information system; Archive; Case repository; System architecture