11 March 2008 Tracking the hyoid bone in videofluoroscopic swallowing studies
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Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, has become a growing problem. Swallowing complications can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, respiratory infection, and even death. The current gold standard for analyzing and diagnosing dysphagia is the videofluoroscopic barium swallow study. In these studies, a fluoroscope is used to image the patient ingesting barium solutions of different volumes and viscosities. The hyoid bone anchors many key muscles involved in swallowing and plays a key role in the process. Abnormal hyoid bone motion during a swallow can indicate swallowing dysfunction. Currently in clinical settings, hyoid bone motion is assessed qualitatively, which can be subject to intra-rater and inter-rater bias. This paper presents a semi-automatic method for tracking the hyoid bone that makes quantitative analysis feasible. The user defines a template of the hyoid on one frame, and this template is tracked across subsequent frames. The matching phase is optimized by predicting the position of the template based on kinematics. An expert speech pathologist marked the position of the hyoid on each frame of ten studies to serve as the gold standard. Results from performing Bland-Altman analysis at a 95% confidence interval showed a bias of 0.0±0.08 pixels in x and -0.08±0.09 pixels in y between the manually-defined gold standard and the proposed method. The average Pearson's correlation between the gold standard and the proposed method was 0.987 in x and 0.980 in y. This paper also presents a method for automatically establishing a patient-centric coordinate system for the interpretation of hyoid motion. This coordinate system corrects for upper body patient motion during the study and identifies superior-inferior and anterior-posterior motion components. These tools make the use of quantitative hyoid motion analysis feasible in clinical and research settings.
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Patrick M. Kellen, Patrick M. Kellen, Darci Becker, Darci Becker, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Douglas van Daele, Douglas van Daele, "Tracking the hyoid bone in videofluoroscopic swallowing studies", Proc. SPIE 6914, Medical Imaging 2008: Image Processing, 69142D (11 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.771198; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.771198

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