Content based retrieval of PET neurological images
Medical image management has posed challenges to many researchers, especially when the images have to be indexed and retrieved using their visual content that is meaningful to clinicians. In this study, an image retrieval system has been developed for 3D brain PET (Position emission tomography) images. It has been found that PET neurological images can be retrieved based upon their diagnostic status using only data pertaining to their content, and predominantly the visual content. During the study PET scans are spatially normalized, using existing techniques, and their visual data is quantified. The mid-sagittal-plane of each individual 3D PET scan is found and then utilized in the detection of abnormal asymmetries, such as tumours or physical injuries. All the asymmetries detected are referenced to the Talairarch and Tournoux anatomical atlas. The Cartesian co- ordinates in Talairarch space, of detected lesion, are employed along with the associated anatomical structure(s) as the indices within the content based image retrieval system. The anatomical atlas is then also utilized to isolate distinct anatomical areas that are related to a number of neurodegenerative disorders. After segmentation of the anatomical regions of interest algorithms are applied to characterize the texture of brain intensity using Gabor filters and to elucidate the mean index ratio of activation levels. These measurements are combined to produce a single feature vector that is incorporated into the content based image retrieval system. Experimental results on images with known diagnoses show that physical lesions such as head injuries and tumours can be, to a certain extent, detected correctly. Images with correctly detected and measured lesion are then retrieved from the database of images when a query pertains to the measured locale. Images with neurodegenerative disorder patterns have been indexed and retrieved via texture-based features. Retrieval accuracy is increased, for images from patients diagnosed with dementia, by combining the texture feature and mean index ratio value.