Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common histological type of primary liver cancer. HCC is graded according to the malignancy of the tissues. It is important to diagnose low-grade HCC tumors because these tissues have good prognosis. Image interpretation-based computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems have been developed to automate the HCC grading process. Generally, the HCC grade is determined by the characteristics of liver cell nuclei. Therefore, it is preferable that CAD systems utilize only liver cell nuclei for HCC grading. This paper proposes an automated HCC diagnosing method. In particular, it defines a pipeline-path that excludes nonliver cell nuclei in two consequent pipeline-modules and utilizes the liver cell nuclear features for HCC grading. The significance of excluding the nonliver cell nuclei for HCC grading is experimentally evaluated. Four categories of liver cell nuclear features were utilized for classifying the HCC tumors. Results indicated that nuclear texture is the dominant feature for HCC grading and others contribute to increase the classification accuracy. The proposed method was employed to classify a set of regions of interest selected from HCC whole slide images into five classes and resulted in a 95.97% correct classification rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging