Novel chromatin texture features for the classification of pap smears

B. Ehteshami Bejnordi, R. Moshavegh, K. Sujathan, P. Malm, E. Bengtsson and A. Mehnert

in: Medical Imaging of Proceedings of the SPIE, 2013



his paper presents a set of novel structural texture features for quantifying nuclear chromatin patterns in cells on a conventional Pap smear. The features are derived from an initial segmentation of the chromatin into bloblike texture primitives. The results of a comprehensive feature selection experiment, including the set of proposed structural texture features and a range of different cytology features drawn from the literature, show that two of the four top ranking features are structural texture features. They also show that a combination of structural and conventional features yields a classification performance of 0.954+-0.019 (AUC+-SE) for the discrimination of normal (NILM) and abnormal (LSIL and HSIL) slides. The results of a second classification experiment, using only normal-appearing cells from both normal and abnormal slides, demonstrates that a single structural texture feature measuring chromatin margination yields a classification performance of 0.815+-0.019. Overall the results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed structural approach and that it is possible to detect malignancy associated changes (MACs) in Papanicoloau stain.