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Anterior Osteophyte Discrimination in Lumbar Vertebrae Using Size-Invariant Features
Radiologists often examine X-rays of cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae for determining the presence of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. For individual vertebra assessment, the boundary increasingly digresses from the general rectangular shape as the vertebra becomes less normal in appearance. For an abnormal vertebra, bony growths (osteophytes) may appear at the vertebral corners, resulting in a change in the vertebra's shape. Image processing techniques are presented for computing size-invariant, convex hull-based features to highlight anterior osteophytes. Feature evaluation of 714 lumbar spine vertebrae using a multi-layer perceptron yielded normal and abnormal average correct discrimination of 90.5 and 86.6 percent, respectively.