Decision Support System for the Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
Recently new nuclear medical diagnostic imaging methods have been introduced by which it is possible to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, PD, at an early stage. The binding of a specific receptor ligand [123I]-FP-CIT in specific structures of the human brain is visualized by way of single photon emission computerized tomography, SPECT. The interpretation of the SPECT data can be accessed by visual analysis and manual quantification methods. We have developed a computer aided automatic decision support system in attempt to facilitate the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease from the acquired SPECT images. A rigid model was used for the segmentation of the basal ganglia of the human brain. The aim of the study was to develop an automated method for quantification and classification of the images.
The study comprises SPECT scans 89 patients, who underwent a [123I]-FP-CIT examination because of suspected Parkinson’s disease. An experienced nuclear medicine physician interpreted the images and diagnosed 65 of the patients as most likely suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
The method included the following steps; (i) segmentation of basal ganglia by fitting a rigid 3D model to the image, (ii) extraction of 17 features based on image intensity distribution in the basal ganglia and a reference based on image intensity distribution outside the basal ganglia, (iii) classification using Support Vector Machine (SVM).
The classification based on the automated method showed a true acceptance of 96.9% and a true rejection of 91.6%. The classification based on a manual quantification method gave a true acceptance of 98.5% and a true rejection of 100%. The method proposed here is fully automatic and it makes use of the full 3D data set in contrast to a method that is widely used at hospitals today which only uses a few 2D image slices.
KeywordsSupport Vector Machine Single Photon Emission Computerize Tomography Basal Ganglion Decision Support System Experienced Nuclear Medicine Physician
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