Author(s): Malm P, Balakrishnan BN, Sujathan VK, Kumar R, Bengtsson E
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Abstract Since its introduction in the 1940s the Pap-smear test has helped reduce the incidence of cervical cancer dramatically in countries where regular screening is standard. The automation of this procedure is an open problem that has been ongoing for over fifty years without reaching satisfactory results. Existing systems are discouragingly expensive and yet they are only able to make a correct distinction between normal and abnormal samples in a fraction of cases. Therefore, they are limited to acting as support for the cytotechnicians as they perform their manual screening. The main reason for the current limitations is that the automated systems struggle to overcome the complexity of the cell structures. Samples are covered in artefacts such as blood cells, overlapping and folded cells, and bacteria, that hamper the segmentation processes and generate large number of suspicious objects. The classifiers designed to differentiate between normal cells and pre-cancerous cells produce unpredictable results when classifying artefacts. In this paper, we propose a sequential classification scheme focused on removing unwanted objects, debris, from an initial segmentation result, intended to be run before the actual normal/abnormal classifier. The method has been evaluated using three separate datasets obtained from cervical samples prepared using both the standard Pap-smear approach as well as the more recent liquid based cytology sample preparation technique. We show success in removing more than 99\% of the debris without loosing more than around one percent of the epithelial cells detected by the segmentation process. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Comput Methods Programs Biomed
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy