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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012;2012:6547-50. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6347494.

Global and local detection of liver steatosis from ultrasound.

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Institute for Systems and Robotics, IST, Lisbon, Portugal.


Liver steatosis is a common disease usually associated with social and genetic factors. Early detection and quantification is important since it can evolve to cirrhosis. Steatosis is usually a diffuse liver disease, since it is globally affected. However, steatosis can also be focal affecting only some foci difficult to discriminate. In both cases, steatosis is detected by laboratorial analysis and visual inspection of ultrasound images of the hepatic parenchyma. Liver biopsy is the most accurate diagnostic method but its invasive nature suggest the use of other non-invasive methods, while visual inspection of the ultrasound images is subjective and prone to error. In this paper a new Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system for steatosis classification and analysis is presented, where the Bayes Factor, obatined from objective intensity and textural features extracted from US images of the liver, is computed in a local or global basis. The main goal is to provide the physician with an application to make it faster and accurate the diagnosis and quantification of steatosis, namely in a screening approach. The results showed an overall accuracy of 93.54% with a sensibility of 95.83% and 85.71% for normal and steatosis class, respectively. The proposed CAD system seemed suitable as a graphical display for steatosis classification and comparison with some of the most recent works in the literature is also presented.

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