Photoaging is associated with increasing pigmentary heterogeneity and darkening of skin color. However, little is known about age-related changes in skin pigmentation on sun-protected areas. The aim of this explorative study was to measure skin color and dyspigmentation using image processing and to evaluate the reliability of these parameters. Twenty-four volunteers of three age-groups were included in this explorative study. Measurements were conducted at sun-exposed and sun-protected areas. Overall skin-color estimates were similar among age groups. The hyper- and hypopigmentation indices differed significantly by age groups and their correlations with age ranged between 0.61 and 0.74. Dorsal forearm skin differed from the other investigational areas (p<0.001). We observed an increase in dyspigmentation at all skin areas, including sun-protected skin areas, already in young adulthood. Associations between age and dyspigmentation estimates were higher compared to color parameters. All color and dyspigmentation estimates showed high reliability. Dyspigmentation parameters seem to be better biomarkers for UV damage than the overall color measurements.
Local molecular and physiological processes can be imaged in vivo through perturbations in the fluorescence lifetime (FLT) of optical imaging agents. In addition to providing functional information, FLT methods can quantify specific molecular events and multiplex diagnostic and prognostic information. We have developed a fluorescence lifetime diffuse optical tomography (DOT) system for in vivo preclinical imaging. Data is captured using a time-resolved intensified charge coupled device (ICCD) system to measure fluorescence excitation and emission in the time domain. Data is then converted to the frequency domain, and we simultaneously reconstruct images of yield and lifetime using an extension to the normalized Born approach. By using differential phase measurements, we demonstrate DOT imaging of short lifetimes (from 350 ps) with high precision (±5 ps). Furthermore, this system retains the efficiency, speed, and flexibility of transmission geometry DOT. We demonstrate feasibility of FLT-DOT through a progressive series of experiments. Lifetime range and repeatability are first measured in phantoms. Imaging of subcutaneous implants then verifies the FLT-DOT approach in vivo in the presence of inhomogeneous optical properties. Use in a common research scenario is ultimately demonstrated by imaging accumulation of a targeted near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent-labeled peptide probe (cypate-RGD) in a mouse with a subcutaneous tumor.
The quantitative accuracy of fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging of small animals can be improved by knowledge of the in situ optical properties of each animal. Obtaining in situ optical property maps is challenging, however, due to short propagation distances, requirements for high dynamic range, and the need for dense spatial, temporal, and spectral sampling. Using an ultrafast gated image intensifier and a pulsed laser source, we have developed a small animal diffuse optical tomography system with multiple synthetic modulation frequencies up to >1 GHz. We show that amplitude and phase measurements with useful contrast-to-noise ratios can be obtained for modulation frequencies over the range of ~250 to 1250 MHz. Experiments with tissue simulating phantoms demonstrate the feasibility of reconstructing the absorption and scattering optical properties in a small animal imaging system.
The features used in the ABCD rule for characterization of skin lesions suggest that the spatial and frequency information in the nevi changes at various stages of melanoma development. To analyze these changes wavelet transform based features have been reported. The classification of melanoma using these features has produced varying results. In this work, all the reported wavelet transform based features are combined to form a single feature set. This feature set is then optimized by removing redundancies using principal component analysis. A feed forward neural network trained with the back propagation algorithm is then used in the classification process to obtain better classification results.
The present work focuses on spatial/frequency analysis of epiluminesence images of dysplastic nevus and melanoma. A three-level wavelet decomposition was performed on skin-lesion images to obtain coefficients in the wavelet domain. A total of 34 features were obtained by computing ratios of the mean, variance, energy and entropy of the wavelet coefficients along with the mean and standard deviation of image intensity. An unpaired t-test for a normal distribution based features and the Wilcoxon rank-sum test for non-normal distribution based features were performed for selecting statistically correlated features. For our data set, the statistical analysis of features reduced the feature set from 34 to 5 features. For classification, the discriminant functions were computed in the feature space using the Mahanalobis distance. ROC curves were generated and evaluated for false positive fraction from 0.1 to 0.4. Most of the discrimination functions provided a true positive rate for melanoma of 93% with a false positive rate up to 21%.
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the use of a wavelet transform based tree structure in classifying skin lesion images in to melanoma and dysplastic nevus based on the spatial/frequency information. The classification is done using the wavelet transform tree structure analysis. Development of the tree structure in the proposed method uses energy ratio thresholds obtained from a statistical analysis of the coefficients in the wavelet domain. The method is used to obtain a tree structure signature of melanoma and dysplastic nevus, which is then used to classify the data set in to the two classes. Images are classified by using a semantic comparison of the wavelet transform tree structure signatures. Results show that the proposed method is effective and simple for classification based on spatial/frequency information, which also includes the textural information.