Send to

Choose Destination
Comput Math Methods Med. 2015;2015:851014. doi: 10.1155/2015/851014. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

Image-Processing Scheme to Detect Superficial Fungal Infections of the Skin.

Author information

Institute of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen - University of Applied Sciences, 35390 Giessen, Germany.
Helmut Hund GmbH, Artur Herzog Straße 2, 35580 Wetzlar, Germany.
Institute of Bioprocess Engineering and Pharmaceutical Technology, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen - University of Applied Sciences, 35390 Giessen, Germany.
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany.


The incidence of superficial fungal infections is assumed to be 20 to 25% of the global human population. Fluorescence microscopy of extracted skin samples is frequently used for a swift assessment of infections. To support the dermatologist, an image-analysis scheme has been developed that evaluates digital microscopic images to detect fungal hyphae. The aim of the study was to increase diagnostic quality and to shorten the time-to-diagnosis. The analysis, consisting of preprocessing, segmentation, parameterization, and classification of identified structures, was performed on digital microscopic images. A test dataset of hyphae and false-positive objects was created to evaluate the algorithm. Additionally, the performance for real clinical images was investigated using 415 images. The results show that the sensitivity for hyphae is 94% and 89% for singular and clustered hyphae, respectively. The mean exclusion rate is 91% for the false-positive objects. The sensitivity for clinical images was 83% and the specificity was 79%. Although the performance is lower for the clinical images than for the test dataset, a reliable and fast diagnosis can be achieved since it is not crucial to detect every hypha to conclude that a sample consisting of several images is infected. The proposed analysis therefore enables a high diagnostic quality and a fast sample assessment to be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Hindawi Limited Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center