10 March 2006 A representation and classification scheme for tree-like structures in medical images: an application on branching pattern analysis of ductal trees in x-ray galactograms
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Abstract
We propose a multi-step approach for representing and classifying tree-like structures in medical images. Examples of such tree-like structures are encountered in the bronchial system, the vessel topology and the breast ductal network. We assume that the tree-like structures are already segmented. To avoid the tree isomorphism problem we obtain the breadth-first canonical form of a tree. Our approach is based on employing tree encoding techniques, such as the depth-first string encoding and the Prüfer encoding, to obtain a symbolic representation. Thus, the problem of classifying trees is reduced to string classification where node labels are the string terms. We employ the tf-idf text mining technique to assign a weight of significance to each string term (i.e., tree node label). We perform similarity searches and k-nearest neighbor classification of the trees using the tf-idf weight vectors and the cosine similarity metric. We applied our approach to the breast ductal network manually extracted from clinical x-ray galactograms. The goal was to characterize the ductal tree-like parenchymal structures in order to distinguish among different groups of women. Our best classification accuracy reached up to 90% for certain experimental settings (k=4), outperforming on the average by 10% that of a previous state-of-the-art method based on ramification matrices. These results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in analyzing tree-like patterns in breast images. Developing such automated tools for the analysis of tree-like structures in medical images can potentially provide insight to the relationship between the topology of branching and function or pathology.
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Vasileios Megalooikonomou, Vasileios Megalooikonomou, Despina Kontos, Despina Kontos, Joseph Danglemaier, Joseph Danglemaier, Ailar Javadi, Ailar Javadi, Predrag R. Bakic, Predrag R. Bakic, Andrew D. A. Maidment, Andrew D. A. Maidment, } "A representation and classification scheme for tree-like structures in medical images: an application on branching pattern analysis of ductal trees in x-ray galactograms", Proc. SPIE 6144, Medical Imaging 2006: Image Processing, 61441H (10 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.651426; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.651426
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