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Small blob detection in medical images

Description

Recent advances in medical imaging technology have greatly enhanced imaging based diagnosis which requires computational effective and accurate algorithms to process the images (e.g., measure the objects) for quantitative assessment.

Recent advances in medical imaging technology have greatly enhanced imaging based diagnosis which requires computational effective and accurate algorithms to process the images (e.g., measure the objects) for quantitative assessment. In this dissertation, one type of imaging objects is of interest: small blobs. Example small blob objects are cells in histopathology images, small breast lesions in ultrasound images, glomeruli in kidney MR images etc. This problem is particularly challenging because the small blobs often have inhomogeneous intensity distribution and indistinct boundary against the background.

This research develops a generalized four-phased system for small blob detections. The system includes (1) raw image transformation, (2) Hessian pre-segmentation, (3) feature extraction and (4) unsupervised clustering for post-pruning. First, detecting blobs from 2D images is studied where a Hessian-based Laplacian of Gaussian (HLoG) detector is proposed. Using the scale space theory as foundation, the image is smoothed via LoG. Hessian analysis is then launched to identify the single optimal scale based on which a pre-segmentation is conducted. Novel Regional features are extracted from pre-segmented blob candidates and fed to Variational Bayesian Gaussian Mixture Models (VBGMM) for post pruning. Sixteen cell histology images and two hundred cell fluorescent images are tested to demonstrate the performances of HLoG. Next, as an extension, Hessian-based Difference of Gaussians (HDoG) is proposed which is capable to identify the small blobs from 3D images. Specifically, kidney glomeruli segmentation from 3D MRI (6 rats, 3 humans) is investigated. The experimental results show that HDoG has the potential to automatically detect glomeruli, enabling new measurements of renal microstructures and pathology in preclinical and clinical studies. Realizing the computation time is a key factor impacting the clinical adoption, the last phase of this research is to investigate the data reduction technique for VBGMM in HDoG to handle large-scale datasets. A new coreset algorithm is developed for variational Bayesian mixture models. Using the same MRI dataset, it is observed that the four-phased system with coreset-VBGMM has similar performance as using the full dataset but about 20 times faster.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A sparsity enforcing framework with TVL1 regularization and its application in MR imaging and source localization

Description

The theme for this work is the development of fast numerical algorithms for sparse optimization as well as their applications in medical imaging and source localization using sensor array processing.

The theme for this work is the development of fast numerical algorithms for sparse optimization as well as their applications in medical imaging and source localization using sensor array processing. Due to the recently proposed theory of Compressive Sensing (CS), the $\ell_1$ minimization problem attracts more attention for its ability to exploit sparsity. Traditional interior point methods encounter difficulties in computation for solving the CS applications. In the first part of this work, a fast algorithm based on the augmented Lagrangian method for solving the large-scale TV-$\ell_1$ regularized inverse problem is proposed. Specifically, by taking advantage of the separable structure, the original problem can be approximated via the sum of a series of simple functions with closed form solutions. A preconditioner for solving the block Toeplitz with Toeplitz block (BTTB) linear system is proposed to accelerate the computation. An in-depth discussion on the rate of convergence and the optimal parameter selection criteria is given. Numerical experiments are used to test the performance and the robustness of the proposed algorithm to a wide range of parameter values. Applications of the algorithm in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and a comparison with other existing methods are included. The second part of this work is the application of the TV-$\ell_1$ model in source localization using sensor arrays. The array output is reformulated into a sparse waveform via an over-complete basis and study the $\ell_p$-norm properties in detecting the sparsity. An algorithm is proposed for minimizing a non-convex problem. According to the results of numerical experiments, the proposed algorithm with the aid of the $\ell_p$-norm can resolve closely distributed sources with higher accuracy than other existing methods.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011