Automatic detection of diabetic foot complications with infrared thermography by asymmetric analysis

C. Liu, Jaap J. van Netten, Jeff G. van Baal, Sicco A. Bus, Ferdinand van der Heijden

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    Early identification of diabetic foot complications and their precursors is essential in preventing their devastating consequences, such as foot infection and amputation. Frequent, automatic risk assessment by an intelligent telemedicine system might be feasible and cost effective. Infrared thermography is a promising modality for such a system. The temperature differences between corresponding areas on contralateral feet are the clinically significant parameters. This asymmetric analysis is hindered by (1) foot segmentation errors, especially when the foot temperature and the ambient temperature are comparable, and by (2) different shapes and sizes between contralateral feet due to deformities or minor amputations. To circumvent the first problem, we used a color image and a thermal image acquired synchronously. Foot regions, detected in the color image, were rigidly registered to the thermal image. This resulted in 97.8%±1.1% sensitivity and 98.4%±0.5% specificity over 76 high-risk diabetic patients with manual annotation as a reference. Nonrigid landmark-based registration with B-splines solved the second problem. Corresponding points in the two feet could be found regardless of the shapes and sizes of the feet. With that, the temperature difference of the left and right feet could be obtained.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)02600301-02600310
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of biomedical optics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2015


    • EWI-26485
    • Telemedicine
    • Prevention
    • inflammation
    • IR-98290
    • diabetic foot complications
    • asymmetric analysis
    • Infrared Imaging
    • METIS-315044
    • thermal image segmentation

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