Journal of Medical Systems

Feature Selection for Automatic Tuberculosis Screening in Frontal Chest Radiographs

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To detect pulmonary abnormalities such as Tuberculosis (TB), an automatic analysis and classification of chest radiographs can be used as a reliable alternative to more sophisticated and technologically demanding methods (e.g. culture or sputum smear analysis). In target areas like Kenya TB is highly prevalent and often co-occurring with HIV combined with low resources and limited medical assistance. In these regions an automatic screening system can provide a cost-effective solution for a large rural population. Our completely automatic TB screening system is processing the incoming CXRs (chest X-ray) by applying image preprocessing techniques to enhance the image quality followed by an adaptive segmentation based on model selection. The delineated lung regions are described by a multitude of image features. These characteristics are than optimized by a feature selection strategy to provide the best description for the classifier, which will later decide if the analyzed image is normal or abnormal. Our goal is to find the optimal feature set from a larger pool of generic image features, –used originally for problems such as object detection, image retrieval, etc. For performance evaluation measures such as under the curve (AUC) and accuracy (ACC) were considered. Using a neural network classifier on two publicly available data collections, –namely the Montgomery and the Shenzhen dataset, we achieved the maximum area under the curve and accuracy of 0.99 and 97.03%, respectively. Further, we compared our results with existing state-of-the-art systems and to radiologists’ decision.