Detection of human finger joints in ultrasound images: structure and optimization



Synovitis is the inflammation of a synovial membrane surrounding a joint. Its assessment is an important step in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Joint detection is the first stage of an automated method of assessment of a degree of synovitis, from an Ultrasound (USG) image of a finger joint and its surrounding area. A joint detector consists of three parts: image preprocessing, feature extraction, and classification. Each part contains adjustable parameters that must be set experimentally to ensure the proper operation of the detector. Both the structure of a joint detector and a procedure for finding a near-optimal configuration of the adjustable parameters are described. The optimization process is based on two evaluation measures: Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AUC) and False Positive Count (FPC). The optimization process decreases the number of pictures with multiple detections, which was the main point of works presented in this paper. This was achieved by increasing the number of components of the homogeneous mixed-SURF descriptor which has the greatest influence on the final result. Non-SURF descriptors achieve poorer classification results. Our research led to the creation of a better joint detector which could positively influence the final results of inflammation level classification.


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