Erythrocyte shape classification using integral-geometry-based methods

  • X. Gual-Arnau
  • S. Herold-García
  • A. Simó
Original Article


Erythrocyte shape deformations are related to different important illnesses. In this paper, we focus on one of the most important: the Sickle cell disease. This disease causes the hardening or polymerization of the hemoglobin that contains the erythrocytes. The study of this process using digital images of peripheral blood smears can offer useful results in the clinical diagnosis of these illnesses. In particular, it would be very valuable to find a rapid and reproducible automatic classification method to quantify the number of deformed cells and so gauge the severity of the illness. In this paper, we show the good results obtained in the automatic classification of erythrocytes in normal cells, sickle cells, and cells with other deformations, when we use a set of functions based on integral-geometry methods, an active contour-based segmentation method, and a k-NN classification algorithm. Blood specimens were obtained from patients with Sickle cell disease. Seventeen peripheral blood smears were obtained for the study, and 45 images of different fields were obtained. A specialist selected the cells to use, determining those cells which were normal, elongated, and with other deformations present in the images. A process of automatic classification, with cross-validation of errors with the proposed descriptors and with other two functions used in previous studies, was realized.


Contour functions Erythrocytes Shape classification Integral geometry 



Work supported by the UJI project P11B2012-24.

Conflict of interest


Ethical standard

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of New Imaging TechnologiesUniversitat Jaume ICastellóSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de ComputaciónUniversidad de OrienteSantiago de CubaCuba
  3. 3.Institut Universitari de Matemàtiques i Aplicacions de CastellóUniversitat Jaume ICastellónSpain

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