Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) exhibits certain morphologic features that can be identified during a colposcopic exam. Immature metaplastic and dysplastic cervical squamous epithelia turn white after application of acetic acid during the exam. The whitening process occurs visually over several minutes and subjectively helps to discriminate between dysplastic and normal tissue. Digital imaging technologies enable us to assist the physician in analyzing acetowhite (acetic-acid-induced) lesions in a fully automatic way. We report a study designed to measure multiple parameters of the acetowhitening process from two images captured with a digital colposcope. One image is captured before the acetic acid application, and the other is captured after the acetic acid application. The spatial change of the acetowhitening is extracted using color and texture information in the post-acetic-acid image; the temporal change is extracted from the intensity and color changes between the post-acetic-acid and pre-acetic-acid images with an automatic alignment. In particular, we propose an automatic means to calculate an opacity index that indicates the grades of temporal change. The imaging and data analysis system is evaluated with a total of 99 human subjects. The proposed opacity index demonstrates a sensitivity and specificity of 94 and 87%, respectively, for discriminating high-grade dysplasia (CIN2+) from normal and low-grade subjects, considering histology as the gold standard.
Image analysis for automated diagnosis of cervical cancer has attained high prominence in the last decade. Automated
image analysis at all levels requires a basic segmentation of the region of interest (ROI) within a given image. The
precision of the diagnosis is often reflected by the precision in detecting the initial region of interest, especially when
some features outside the ROI mimic the ones within the same. Work described here discusses algorithms that are used
to improve the cervical region of interest as a part of automated cervical image diagnosis. A vital visual aid in diagnosing cervical cancer is the aceto-whitening of the cervix after the application of acetic acid. Color and texture are used to segment acetowhite regions within the cervical ROI. Vaginal walls along with cottonswabs
sometimes mimic these essential features leading to several false positives. Work presented here is focused towards detecting in-focus vaginal wall boundaries and then extrapolating them to exclude vaginal walls from the cervical ROI. In addition, discussed here is a marker-controlled watershed segmentation that is used to detect cottonswabs from the cervical ROI. A dataset comprising 50 high resolution images of the cervix acquired after 60 seconds of acetic acid application were used to test the algorithm. Out of the 50 images, 27 benefited from a new cervical ROI. Significant improvement in overall diagnosis was observed in these images as false positives caused by features outside the actual ROI mimicking acetowhite region were eliminated.