A Computer-Aided Diagnosis Scheme For Detection Of Fatty Liver In Vivo Based On Ultrasound Kurtosis Imaging
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Fatty liver disease is a common disease caused by alcoholism, obesity, and diabetes, resulting in triglyceride accumulation in hepatocytes. Kurtosis coefficient, a measure of the peakedness of the probability distribution, has been applied to the analysis of backscattered statistics for characterizing fatty liver. This study proposed ultrasound kurtosis imaging as a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) method to visually and quantitatively stage the fatty liver. A total of 107 patients were recruited to participate in the experiments. The livers were scanned using a clinical ultrasound scanner with a 3.5-MHz curved transducer to acquire the raw ultrasound backscattered signals for kurtosis imaging. The kurtosis image was constructed using the sliding window technique. Experimental results showed that kurtosis imaging has the ability to visualize and quantify the variation of backscattered statistics caused by fatty infiltration. The kurtosis coefficient corresponding to liver parenchyma decreased from 5.41 ± 0.89 to 3.68 ± 0.12 with increasing the score of fatty liver from 0 (normal) to 3 (severe), indicating that fatty liver reduces the degree of peakedness of backscattered statistics. The best performance of kurtosis imaging was found when discriminating between normal and fatty livers with scores ≥1: the area under the curve (AUC) is 0.92 at a cutoff value of 4.36 (diagnostic accuracy =86.9 %, sensitivity =86.7 %, specificity =87.0 %). The current findings suggest that kurtosis imaging may be useful in designing CAD tools to assist in physicians in early detection of fatty liver.
KeywordsKurtosis imaging Backscattered statistics Fatty liver Ultrasound tissue characterization Computer-aided diagnosis
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan) under Grant No. MOST 103-2221-E-182-001-MY3 and the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (Linkou, Taiwan) under Grant Nos. CIRPD1E0021, CMRPD1C0711, and CMRPD1C0661.
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