Published online Oct 16, 2016. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v8.i18.653
Peer-review started: April 18, 2016
First decision: May 19, 2016
Revised: June 15, 2016
Accepted: August 15, 2016
Article in press: August 16, 2016
Published online: October 16, 2016
To quantify the presence of villous atrophy in endoscopic images for improved automation.
There are two main categories of quantitative descriptors helpful to detect villous atrophy: (1) Statistical and (2) Syntactic. Statistical descriptors measure the small intestinal substrate in endoscope-acquired images based on mathematical methods. Texture is the most commonly used statistical descriptor to quantify villous atrophy. Syntactic descriptors comprise a syntax, or set of rules, for analyzing and parsing the substrate into a set of objects with boundaries. The syntax is designed to identify and distinguish three-dimensional structures based on their shape.
The variance texture statistical descriptor is useful to describe the average variability in image gray level representing villous atrophy, but does not determine the range in variability and the spatial relationships between regions. Improved textural descriptors will incorporate these factors, so that areas with variability gradients and regions that are orientation dependent can be distinguished. The protrusion syntactic descriptor is useful to detect three-dimensional architectural components, but is limited to identifying objects of a certain shape. Improvement in this descriptor will require incorporating flexibility to the prototypical template, so that protrusions of any shape can be detected, measured, and distinguished.
Improved quantitative descriptors of villous atrophy are being developed, which will be useful in detecting subtle, varying patterns of villous atrophy in the small intestinal mucosa of suspected and known celiac disease patients.
Core tip: Celiac disease is a relatively common ailment throughout the world, affecting approximately 1% of the population. Yet, it is little known and rarely diagnosed. Untreated, it can lead to severe intestinal disturbance, cancer, neurological problems, fertility problems, and other disorders. Villous atrophy of the small intestine is often present in untreated celiac patients. Better quantitative image analysis is important to detect areas of pathology in the small intestine endoscopically. In this study the main approaches for automatically detecting villous atrophy by computerized means are described, which can be helpful to map areas of pathology and determine disease status.