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Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 1991 Jan;34(1):41-60.

Automated feature detection in digital images of skin.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson.


This paper presents a new approach to the detection of cutaneous features such as pigmented moles, pores and hair in digital images. We show that by considering the digitized image to be a 3-D terrain with brightness being height, common skin features appear as 'pits' in the terrain. Pits contain a great deal of information about local features in a form that can be easily extracted and analyzed. Pigmented lesions of clinical interest typically have pit characteristics which can be used to separate them from other features. We show empirically that, by creating a statistical database, on the average over 99% of pits can be classified correctly after only a few training images are established for a subject. When attempting to detect pigmented lesions, mean sensitivity ranges from 78% to 98%, depending on imaging conditions and the classification algorithm used. Using image compression, the speed of this screening technique is shown to be increased by a factor of 4 without loss of sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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