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Quantitative image analysis (QIA) goes beyond subjective visual assessment to provide computer measurements of the image content, typically following image segmentation to identify anatomical regions of interest (ROIs). Commercially available picture archiving and communication systems focus on storage of image data. They are not well suited to efficient storage and mining of new types of quantitative data. In this paper, we present a system that integrates image segmentation, quantitation, and characterization with database and data mining facilities. The paper includes generic process and data models for QIA in medicine and describes their practical use. The data model is based upon the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) data hierarchy, which is augmented with tables to store segmentation results (ROIs) and quantitative data from multiple experiments. Data mining for statistical analysis of the quantitative data is described along with example queries. The database is implemented in PostgreSQL on a UNIX server. Database requirements and capabilities are illustrated through two quantitative imaging experiments related to lung cancer screening and assessment of emphysema lung disease. The system can manage the large amounts of quantitative data necessary for research, development, and deployment of computer-aided diagnosis tools.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:9 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 2005