Automated oral cancer identification using histopathological images: A hybrid feature extraction paradigm

M. Muthu Rama Krishnan, Vikram Venkatraghavan, U. Rajendra Acharya, Mousumi Pal, Ranjan Rashmi Paul, Lim Choo Min, Ajoy Kumar Ray, Jyotirmoy Chatterjee, Chandan Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Oral cancer (OC) is the sixth most common cancer in the world. In India it is the most common malignant neoplasm. Histopathological images have widely been used in the differential diagnosis of normal, oral precancerous (oral sub-mucous fibrosis (OSF)) and cancer lesions. However, this technique is limited by subjective interpretations and less accurate diagnosis. The objective of this work is to improve the classification accuracy based on textural features in the development of a computer assisted screening of OSF. The approach introduced here is to grade the histopathological tissue sections into normal, OSF without Dysplasia (OSFWD) and OSF with Dysplasia (OSFD), which would help the oral onco-pathologists to screen the subjects rapidly. The biopsy sections are stained with H&E. The optical density of the pixels in the light microscopic images is recorded and represented as matrix quantized as integers from 0 to 255 for each fundamental color (Red, Green, Blue), resulting in a M× N× 3 matrix of integers. Depending on either normal or OSF condition, the image has various granular structures which are self similar patterns at different scales termed " texture" We have extracted these textural changes using Higher Order Spectra (HOS), Local Binary Pattern (LBP), and Laws Texture Energy (LTE) from the histopathological images (normal, OSFWD and OSFD). These feature vectors were fed to five different classifiers: Decision Tree (DT), Sugeno Fuzzy, Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), K-Nearest Neighbor (K-NN), Radial Basis Probabilistic Neural Network (RBPNN) to select the best classifier. Our results show that combination of texture and HOS features coupled with Fuzzy classifier resulted in 95.7% accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of 94.5% and 98.8% respectively. Finally, we have proposed a novel integrated index called Oral Malignancy Index (OMI) using the HOS, LBP, LTE features, to diagnose benign or malignant tissues using just one number. We hope that this OMI can help the clinicians in making a faster and more objective detection of benign/malignant oral lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-364
Number of pages13
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Fuzzy
  • Higher Order Spectra
  • Histopathology
  • Laws mask
  • Local Binary Pattern
  • Oral Submucous Fibrosis

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