Automated image analysis of uterine cervical images

Wenjing Li, Jia Gu, Daron Gale Ferris, Allen Poirson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Scopus citations


Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and the leading cause of cancer mortality of women in developing countries. If detected early and treated adequately, cervical cancer can be virtually prevented. Cervical precursor lesions and invasive cancer exhibit certain morphologic features that can be identified during a visual inspection exam. Digital imaging technologies allow us to assist the physician with a Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system. In colposcopy, epithelium that turns white after application of acetic acid is called acetowhite epithelium. Acetowhite epithelium is one of the major diagnostic features observed in detecting cancer and pre-cancerous regions. Automatic extraction of acetowhite regions from cervical images has been a challenging task due to specular reflection, various illumination conditions, and most importantly, large intra-patient variation. This paper presents a multi-step acetowhite region detection system to analyze the acetowhite lesions in cervical images automatically. First, the system calibrates the color of the cervical images to be independent of screening devices. Second, the anatomy of the uterine cervix is analyzed in terms of cervix region, external os region, columnar region, and squamous region. Third, the squamous region is further analyzed and subregions based on three levels of acetowhite are identified. The extracted acetowhite regions are accompanied by color scores to indicate the different levels of acetowhite. The system has been evaluated by 40 human subjects' data and demonstrates high correlation with experts' annotations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2007
Subtitle of host publicationComputer-Aided Diagnosis
EditionPART 2
StatePublished - Oct 18 2007
EventMedical Imaging 2007: Computer-Aided Diagnosis - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 20 2007Feb 22 2007

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
NumberPART 2
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2007: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Acetowhite
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colposcopy
  • Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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