Capsule endoscopy (CE), which is virtually a micro-camera, is a revolutionary diagnostic tool in diagnosing small bowel diseases, and CE can obtain 40-60 thousand images of the GI tract, though the number of the images for the lesions is smaller than 500 in most of the patients. The CE reader still has to scan ten thousands of the images one by one because the reader cannot make sure which images the lesions are in. So, it may be a big burden on the CE reader's eyes and energy.
In order to decrease the workload of the readers, a research team led by Prof. Wu and Dr. Gan from West China Hospital of Sichuan University developed a kind of image-processed software (IPS) based on the characteristic colors and contours of the lesions, which could screen out a large number of normal images from the original images; so that, only 10%-15% of the original images were left behind, among which most of the commonly-encountered lesions in the small intestines were preserved for diagnosis. This will be published on December 7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
Compared with the diagnostic results obtained by the CE readers, the total effectiveness rate (sensitivity) in the screening of the commonly encountered enteric lesions by IPS varied from 42.9% to 91.2%, with a median of 74.2%, though the specificity and the accuracy rates were still low, and the images for the rarely-encountered lesions were difficult to differentiate from the normal images. However, the number of the images screened by IPS was 5000 on average, and only 10%-15% of the original images were left behind. As a result, a large number of normal images were excluded, and the reading time decreased from 5 h to 1 h on average. They concluded that this computer-aided screening technique can make a correct diagnosis as efficiently as possible in most of the patients.
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