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Automated morphological analysis of bone marrow cells in microscopic images for diagnosis of leukemia: Nucleus-plasma separation and cell classification using a hierarchical tree model of hematopoesis

: Krappe, Sebastian; Wittenberg, Thomas; Haferlach, Torsten; Münzenmayer, Christian


Tourassi, G.D. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Medical Imaging 2016. Computer-Aided Diagnosis. Pt.1 : 28 February-2 March 2016, San Diego, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2016 (Proceedings of SPIE 9785)
ISBN: 978-1-5106-0020-1
Paper 97853C, 6 S.
Conference "Medical Imaging - Computer-Aided Diagnosis" <2016, San Diego/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IIS ()
Texturanalyse; Segmentierung; Merkmal; medizinische BV; Klassifikation; Hämatologie; Farbbilder; Computer Assistierte Mikroskopie

The morphological differentiation of bone marrow is fundamental for the diagnosis of leukemia. Currently, the counting and classification of the different types of bone marrow cells is done manually under the use of bright field microscopy. This is a time-consuming, subjective, tedious and error-prone process. Furthermore, repeated examinations of a slide may yield intra- and inter-observer variances. For that reason a computer assisted diagnosis system for bone marrow differentiation is pursued. In this work we focus (a) on a new method for the separation of nucleus and plasma parts and (b) on a knowledge-based hierarchical tree classifier for the differentiation of bone marrow cells in 16 different classes. Classification trees are easily interpretable and understandable and provide a classification together with an explanation. Using classification trees, expert knowledge (i.e. knowledge about similar classes and cell lines in the tree model of hematopoiesis) is integrated in the structure of the tree. The proposed segmentation method is evaluated with more than 10,000 manually segmented cells. For the evaluation of the proposed hierarchical classifier more than 140,000 automatically segmented bone marrow cells are used. Future automated solutions for the morphological analysis of bone marrow smears could potentially apply such an approach for the pre-classification of bone marrow cells and thereby shortening the examination time.