Quantitative methods for noninvasive diagnosis of scars are a challenging issue in medicine. This work aims to implement a texture analysis method for quantitatively discriminating abnormal scars from normal scars based on second-harmonic generation (SHG) images. A local difference local binary pattern (LD-LBP) operator combined with a wavelet transform was explored to extract diagnosis features from scar SHG images that were related to the alteration in collagen morphology. Based on the quantitative parameters including the homogeneity, directional and coarse features in SHG images, the scar collagen SHG images were classified into normal or abnormal scars by a support vector machine classifier in a leave-one-out cross-validation procedure. Our experiments and data analyses demonstrated apparent differences between normal and abnormal scars in terms of their morphological structure of collagen. By comparing with gray level co-occurrence matrix, wavelet transform, and combined basic local binary pattern and wavelet transform with respect to the accuracy and receiver operating characteristic analysis, the method proposed herein was demonstrated to achieve higher accuracy and more reliable classification of SHG images. This result indicated that the extracted texture features with the proposed method were effective in the classification of scars. It could provide assistance for physicians in the diagnostic process.
Texture analysis plays a crucial role in identifying objects or regions of interest in an image. It has been applied to a variety of medical image processing, ranging from the detection of disease and the segmentation of specific anatomical structures, to differentiation between healthy and pathological tissues. Second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy as a potential noninvasive tool for imaging biological tissues has been widely used in medicine, with reduced phototoxicity and photobleaching. In this paper, we clarified the principles of texture analysis including statistical, transform, structural and model-based methods and gave examples of its applications, reviewing studies of the technique. Moreover, we tried to apply texture analysis to the SHG images for the differentiation of human skin scar tissues. Texture analysis method based on local binary pattern (LBP) and wavelet transform was used to extract texture features of SHG images from collagen in normal and abnormal scars, and then the scar SHG images were classified into normal or abnormal ones. Compared with other texture analysis methods with respect to the receiver operating characteristic analysis, LBP combined with wavelet transform was demonstrated to achieve higher accuracy. It can provide a new way for clinical diagnosis of scar types. At last, future development of texture analysis in SHG images were discussed.