Staging of Fatty Liver Diseases Based on Hierarchical Classification and Feature Fusion for Back-Scan–Converted Ultrasound Images

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Fatty liver disease is progressive and may not cause any symptoms at early stages. This disease is potentially fatal and can cause liver cancer in severe stages. Therefore, diagnosing and staging fatty liver disease in early stages is necessary. In this paper, a novel method is presented to classify normal and fatty liver, as well as discriminate three stages of fatty liver in ultrasound images. This study is performed with 129 subjects including 28 normal, 47 steatosis, 42 fibrosis, and 12 cirrhosis images. The proposed approach uses back-scan conversion of ultrasound sector images and is based on a hierarchical classification. The proposed algorithm is performed in two parts. The first part selects the optimum regions of interest from the focal zone of the back-scan–converted ultrasound images. In the second part, discrimination between normal and fatty liver is performed and then steatosis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis are classified in a hierarchical basis. The wavelet packet transform and gray-level co-occurrence matrix are used to obtain a number of statistical features. A support vector machine classifier is used to discriminate between normal and fatty liver, and stage fatty cases. The results of the proposed scheme clearly illustrate the efficiency of this system with overall accuracy of 94.91% and also specificity of more than 90%.

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