Sublingual vein extraction algorithm based on hyperspectral tongue imaging technology.

Key Laboratory of Polor Materials and Devices, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
Computerized medical imaging and graphics: the official journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society (Impact Factor: 1.04). 10/2010; 35(3):179-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.compmedimag.2010.10.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Among the parts of the human tongue surface, the sublingual vein is one of the most important ones which may have pathological relationship with some diseases. To analyze this information quantitatively, one primitive work is to extract sublingual veins accurately from tongue body. In this paper, a hyperspectral tongue imaging system instead of a digital camera is used to capture sublingual images. A hidden Markov model approach is presented to extract the sublingual veins from the hyperspectral sublingual images. This approach characterizes the spectral correlation and the band-to-band variability using a hidden Markov process, where the model parameters are estimated by the spectra of the pixel vectors forming the observation sequences. The proposed algorithm, the pixel-based sublingual vein segmentation algorithm, and the spectral angle mapper algorithm are tested on a total of 150 scenes of hyperspectral sublingual veins images to evaluate the performance of the new method. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can extract the sublingual veins more accurately than the traditional algorithms and can perform well even in a noisy environment.

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    ABSTRACT: Visual inspection for tongue analysis is a diagnostic method in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Owing to the variations in tongue features, such as color, texture, coating, and shape, it is difficult to precisely extract the tongue region in images. This study aims to quantitatively evaluate tongue diagnosis via automatic tongue segmentation. Experiments were conducted using a clinical image dataset provided by the Laboratory of Traditional Medical Syndromes, Shanghai University of TCM. First, a clinical tongue image was refined by a saliency window. Second, we initialized the tongue area as the upper binary part and lower level set matrix. Third, a double geo-vector flow (DGF) was proposed to detect the tongue edge and segment the tongue region in the image, such that the geodesic flow was evaluated in the lower part, and the geo-gradient vector flow was evaluated in the upper part. The performance of the DGF was evaluated using 100 images. The DGF exhibited better results compared with other representative studies, with its true-positive volume fraction reaching 98.5%, its false-positive volume fraction being 1.51%, and its false-negative volume fraction being 1.42%. The errors between the proposed automatic segmentation results and manual contours were 0.29 and 1.43% in terms of the standard boundary error metrics of Hausdorff distance and mean distance, respectively. By analyzing the time complexity of the DGF and evaluating its performance via standard boundary and area error metrics, we have shown both efficiency and effectiveness of the DGF for automatic tongue image segmentation.
    Chinese Medicine 02/2014; 9(1):7. · 1.79 Impact Factor


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