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Image Texture Analysis of Sonograms in Chronic Inflammations of Thyroid Gland

D. Smutek, T. Tjahjadi, R. Sara, P. Sucharda, M. Svec

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 29, No. 11, 2003, 1531-1543

Abstract

The current practice in assessing sonographic findings of chronic inflamed thyroid tissue is mainly qualitative, based just on a physician's experience. This study shows that inflamed and normal tissues can be differentiated by automatic texture analysis of B-mode sonographic images. Feature selection is the most important part of this procedure. We employed two selection schemes for finding recognition-optimal features: one based on compactness and separability and the other based on classification error. The full feature set included Muzzolini's spatial features and Haralick's co-occurrence features. These features were selected on a set of 2,430 sonograms of 81 subjects and the classifier performance was evaluated on a test set of 540 sonograms of 18 independent subjects. A classification success rate of 100% was achieved with as few as one optimal feature among the 129 texture characteristics tested. Both selection schemes agreed on the best features. The results were confirmed on the independent test set. The stability of the results with respect to sonograph setting, thyroid gland segmentation, and scanning direction was tested.