Development of a Computer-Aided Differential Diagnosis System to Distinguish Between Usual Interstitial Pneumonia and Non-specific Interstitial Pneumonia Using Texture- and Shape-Based Hierarchical Classifiers on HRCT Images
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A computer-aided differential diagnosis (CADD) system that distinguishes between usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) and non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) using high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) images was developed, and its results compared against the decision of a radiologist. Six local interstitial lung disease patterns in the images were determined, and 900 typical regions of interest were marked by an experienced radiologist. A support vector machine classifier was used to train and label the regions of interest of the lung parenchyma based on the texture and shape characteristics. Based on the regional classifications of the entire lung using HRCT, the distributions and extents of the six regional patterns were characterized through their CADD features. The disease division index of every area fraction combination and the asymmetric index between the left and right lungs were also evaluated. A second SVM classifier was employed to classify the UIP and NSIP, and features were selected through sequential-forward floating feature selection. For the evaluation, 54 HRCT images of UIP (n = 26) and NSIP (n = 28) patients clinically diagnosed by a pulmonologist were included and evaluated. The classification accuracy was measured based on a fivefold cross-validation with 20 repetitions using random shuffling. For comparison, thoracic radiologists assessed each case using HRCT images without clinical information or diagnosis. The accuracies of the radiologists’ decisions were 75 and 87%. The accuracies of the CADD system using different features ranged from 70 to 81%. Finally, the accuracy of the proposed CADD system after sequential-forward feature selection was 91%.
KeywordsComputer-aided differential diagnosis Usual interstitial pneumonia Non-specific interstitial pneumonia Regional lung disease patterns SVM classifier
This work was supported by the Industrial Strategic technology development program (10072064) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MI, Korea).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Namkug Kim and Joon Beom Seo have conflicts of interest regarding royalties received for a patent on classifying regional diseased patterns of diffuse interstitial lung disease, and as stockholders of Coreline Soft, Inc. The other authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.
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