Computer-aided diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis with optical tomography, Part 2: Image classification

Ludguier D. Montejo, Jingfei Jia, Hyun K. Kim, Uwe J. Netz, Sabine Blaschke, Gerhard A. Muller, Andreas H. Hielscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the second part of a two-part paper on the application of computer-aided diagnosis to diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A comprehensive analysis of techniques for the classification of DOT images of proximal interphalangeal joints of subjects with and without RA is presented. A method for extracting heuristic features from DOT images was presented in Part 1. The ability of five classification algorithms to accurately label each DOT image as belonging to a subject with or without RA is analyzed here. The algorithms of interest are the k-nearest-neighbors, linear and quadratic discriminant analysis, self-organizing maps, and support vector machines (SVM). With a polynomial SVM classifier, we achieve 100.0% sensitivity and 97.8% specificity. Lower bounds for these results (at 95.0% confidence level) are 96.4% and 93.8%, respectively. Image features most predictive of RA are from the spatial variation of optical properties and the absolute range in feature values. The optimal classifiers are low-dimensional combinations (<7 features). These results underscore the high potential for DOT to become a clinically useful diagnostic tool and warrant larger prospective clinical trials to conclusively demonstrate the ultimate clinical utility of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number076002
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • computer-aided diagnosis
  • image classification
  • light propagation in tissue
  • medical imaging
  • optical tomography
  • rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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