Guilherme Giacomini

Abstracts

4 Algorithm for Quantification of Pulmonary Fibrosis in Chest X-Ray Exams

Authors: Guilherme Giacomini, Marcela de Oliveira, Fernando Antonio Bacchim Neto, Allan Felipe Fattori Alves, Maria Eugênia Dela Rosa, Diana Rodrigues De Pina, Ana Luiza Menegatti Pavan

Abstract:

It is estimated that each year one death every 10 seconds (about 2 million deaths) in the world is attributed to tuberculosis (TB). Even after effective treatment, TB leaves sequelae such as, for example, pulmonary fibrosis, compromising the quality of life of patients. Evaluations of the aforementioned sequel are usually performed subjectively by radiology specialists. Subjective evaluation may indicate variations inter and intra observers. The examination of x-rays is the diagnostic imaging method most accomplished in the monitoring of patients diagnosed with TB and of least cost to the institution. The application of computational algorithms is of utmost importance to make a more objective quantification of pulmonary impairment in individuals with tuberculosis. The purpose of this research is the use of computer algorithms to quantify the pulmonary impairment pre and post-treatment of patients with pulmonary TB. The x-ray images of 10 patients with TB diagnosis confirmed by examination of sputum smears were studied. Initially the segmentation of the total lung area was performed (posteroanterior and lateral views) then targeted to the compromised region by pulmonary sequel. Through morphological operators and the application of signal noise tool, it was possible to determine the compromised lung volume. The largest difference found pre- and post-treatment was 85.85% and the smallest was 54.08%.

Keywords: Radiology, Algorithm, Tuberculosis, x-rays exam

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3 Tool for Maxillary Sinus Quantification in Computed Tomography Exams

Authors: Guilherme Giacomini, Marcela de Oliveira, Fernando Antonio Bacchim Neto, Allan Felipe Fattori Alves, Diana Rodrigues De Pina, Ana Luiza Menegatti Pavan, José Ricardo de Arruda Miranda, Seizo Yamashita

Abstract:

The maxillary sinus (MS), part of the paranasal sinus complex, is one of the most enigmatic structures in modern humans. The literature has suggested that MSs function as olfaction accessories, to heat or humidify inspired air, for thermoregulation, to impart resonance to the voice and others. Thus, the real function of the MS is still uncertain. Furthermore, the MS anatomy is complex and varies from person to person. Many diseases may affect the development process of sinuses. The incidence of rhinosinusitis and other pathoses in the MS is comparatively high, so, volume analysis has clinical value. Providing volume values for MS could be helpful in evaluating the presence of any abnormality and could be used for treatment planning and evaluation of the outcome. The computed tomography (CT) has allowed a more exact assessment of this structure, which enables a quantitative analysis. However, this is not always possible in the clinical routine, and if possible, it involves much effort and/or time. Therefore, it is necessary to have a convenient, robust, and practical tool correlated with the MS volume, allowing clinical applicability. Nowadays, the available methods for MS segmentation are manual or semi-automatic. Additionally, manual methods present inter and intraindividual variability. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop an automatic tool to quantity the MS volume in CT scans of paranasal sinuses. This study was developed with ethical approval from the authors’ institutions and national review panels. The research involved 30 retrospective exams of University Hospital, Botucatu Medical School, São Paulo State University, Brazil. The tool for automatic MS quantification, developed in Matlab®, uses a hybrid method, combining different image processing techniques. For MS detection, the algorithm uses a Support Vector Machine (SVM), by features such as pixel value, spatial distribution, shape and others. The detected pixels are used as seed point for a region growing (RG) segmentation. Then, morphological operators are applied to reduce false-positive pixels, improving the segmentation accuracy. These steps are applied in all slices of CT exam, obtaining the MS volume. To evaluate the accuracy of the developed tool, the automatic method was compared with manual segmentation realized by an experienced radiologist. For comparison, we used Bland-Altman statistics, linear regression, and Jaccard similarity coefficient. From the statistical analyses for the comparison between both methods, the linear regression showed a strong association and low dispersion between variables. The Bland–Altman analyses showed no significant differences between the analyzed methods. The Jaccard similarity coefficient was > 0.90 in all exams. In conclusion, the developed tool to quantify MS volume proved to be robust, fast, and efficient, when compared with manual segmentation. Furthermore, it avoids the intra and inter-observer variations caused by manual and semi-automatic methods. As future work, the tool will be applied in clinical practice. Thus, it may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment determination of MS diseases. Providing volume values for MS could be helpful in evaluating the presence of any abnormality and could be used for treatment planning and evaluation of the outcome. The computed tomography (CT) has allowed a more exact assessment of this structure which enables a quantitative analysis. However, this is not always possible in the clinical routine, and if possible, it involves much effort and/or time. Therefore, it is necessary to have a convenient, robust and practical tool correlated with the MS volume, allowing clinical applicability. Nowadays, the available methods for MS segmentation are manual or semi-automatic. Additionally, manual methods present inter and intraindividual variability. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop an automatic tool to quantity the MS volume in CT scans of paranasal sinuses. This study was developed with ethical approval from the authors’ institutions and national review panels. The research involved 30 retrospective exams of University Hospital, Botucatu Medical School, São Paulo State University, Brazil. The tool for automatic MS quantification, developed in Matlab®, uses a hybrid method, combining different image processing techniques. For MS detection, the algorithm uses a Support Vector Machine (SVM), by features such as pixel value, spatial distribution, shape and others. The detected pixels are used as seed point for a region growing (RG) segmentation. Then, morphological operators are applied to reduce false-positive pixels, improving the segmentation accuracy. These steps are applied in all slices of CT exam, obtaining the MS volume. To evaluate the accuracy of the developed tool, the automatic method was compared with manual segmentation realized by an experienced radiologist. For comparison, we used Bland-Altman statistics, linear regression and Jaccard similarity coefficient. From the statistical analyses for the comparison between both methods, the linear regression showed a strong association and low dispersion between variables. The Bland–Altman analyses showed no significant differences between the analyzed methods. The Jaccard similarity coefficient was > 0.90 in all exams. In conclusion, the developed tool to automatically quantify MS volume proved to be robust, fast and efficient, when compared with manual segmentation. Furthermore, it avoids the intra and inter-observer variations caused by manual and semi-automatic methods. As future work, the tool will be applied in clinical practice. Thus, it may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment determination of MS diseases.

Keywords: support vector machine, maxillary sinus, region growing, volume quantification

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2 Automatic Identification of Pectoral Muscle

Authors: Allan F. F. Alves, Guilherme Giacomini, Marcela de Oliveira, Ana L. M. Pavan, Maria E. D. Rosa, Fernando A. B. Neto, Andre P. Trindade, Diana R. De Pina

Abstract:

Mammography is a worldwide image modality used to diagnose breast cancer, even in asymptomatic women. Due to its large availability, mammograms can be used to measure breast density and to predict cancer development. Women with increased mammographic density have a four- to sixfold increase in their risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore, studies have been made to accurately quantify mammographic breast density. In clinical routine, radiologists perform image evaluations through BIRADS (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) assessment. However, this method has inter and intraindividual variability. An automatic objective method to measure breast density could relieve radiologist’s workload by providing a first aid opinion. However, pectoral muscle is a high density tissue, with similar characteristics of fibroglandular tissues. It is consequently hard to automatically quantify mammographic breast density. Therefore, a pre-processing is needed to segment the pectoral muscle which may erroneously be quantified as fibroglandular tissue. The aim of this work was to develop an automatic algorithm to segment and extract pectoral muscle in digital mammograms. The database consisted of thirty medio-lateral oblique incidence digital mammography from São Paulo Medical School. This study was developed with ethical approval from the authors’ institutions and national review panels under protocol number 3720-2010. An algorithm was developed, in Matlab® platform, for the pre-processing of images. The algorithm uses image processing tools to automatically segment and extract the pectoral muscle of mammograms. Firstly, it was applied thresholding technique to remove non-biological information from image. Then, the Hough transform is applied, to find the limit of the pectoral muscle, followed by active contour method. Seed of active contour is applied in the limit of pectoral muscle found by Hough transform. An experienced radiologist also manually performed the pectoral muscle segmentation. Both methods, manual and automatic, were compared using the Jaccard index and Bland-Altman statistics. The comparison between manual and the developed automatic method presented a Jaccard similarity coefficient greater than 90% for all analyzed images, showing the efficiency and accuracy of segmentation of the proposed method. The Bland-Altman statistics compared both methods in relation to area (mm²) of segmented pectoral muscle. The statistic showed data within the 95% confidence interval, enhancing the accuracy of segmentation compared to the manual method. Thus, the method proved to be accurate and robust, segmenting rapidly and freely from intra and inter-observer variability. It is concluded that the proposed method may be used reliably to segment pectoral muscle in digital mammography in clinical routine. The segmentation of the pectoral muscle is very important for further quantifications of fibroglandular tissue volume present in the breast.

Keywords: Hough transform, active contour, fibroglandular tissue, pectoral muscle

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1 Ischemic Stroke Detection in Computed Tomography Examinations

Authors: Allan F. F. Alves, Fernando A. Bacchim Neto, Guilherme Giacomini, Marcela de Oliveira, Ana L. M. Pavan, Maria E. D. Rosa, Diana R. Pina

Abstract:

Stroke is a worldwide concern, only in Brazil it accounts for 10% of all registered deaths. There are 2 stroke types, ischemic (87%) and hemorrhagic (13%). Early diagnosis is essential to avoid irreversible cerebral damage. Non-enhanced computed tomography (NECT) is one of the main diagnostic techniques used due to its wide availability and rapid diagnosis. Detection depends on the size and severity of lesions and the time spent between the first symptoms and examination. The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) is a subjective method that increases the detection rate. The aim of this work was to implement an image segmentation system to enhance ischemic stroke and to quantify the area of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke lesions in CT scans. We evaluated 10 patients with NECT examinations diagnosed with ischemic stroke. Analyzes were performed in two axial slices, one at the level of the thalamus and basal ganglion and one adjacent to the top edge of the ganglionic structures with window width between 80 and 100 Hounsfield Units. We used different image processing techniques such as morphological filters, discrete wavelet transform and Fuzzy C-means clustering. Subjective analyzes were performed by a neuroradiologist according to the ASPECTS scale to quantify ischemic areas in the middle cerebral artery region. These subjective analysis results were compared with objective analyzes performed by the computational algorithm. Preliminary results indicate that the morphological filters actually improve the ischemic areas for subjective evaluations. The comparison in area of the ischemic region contoured by the neuroradiologist and the defined area by computational algorithm showed no deviations greater than 12% in any of the 10 examination tests. Although there is a tendency that the areas contoured by the neuroradiologist are smaller than those obtained by the algorithm. These results show the importance of a computer aided diagnosis software to assist neuroradiology decisions, especially in critical situations as the choice of treatment for ischemic stroke.

Keywords: Image Processing, fuzzy c-means, ischemic stroke, CT scans

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