Abstract

A novel spectral imaging method for the classification of light-induced autofluorescence spectra based on principal component analysis (PCA), a multivariate statistical analysis technique commonly used for studying the statistical characteristics of spectral data, is proposed and investigated. A set of optical spectral filters related to the diagnostically relevant principal components is proposed to process autofluorescence signals optically and generate principal component score images of the examined tissue simultaneously. A diagnostic image is then formed on the basis of an algorithm that relates the principal component scores to tissue pathology. With autofluorescence spectral data collected from nasopharyngeal tissue in vivo, a set of principal component filters was designed to process the autofluorescence signal, and the PCA-based diagnostic algorithms were developed to classify the spectral signal. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed spectral imaging system can differentiate carcinoma lesions from normal tissue with a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 93%. The optimal design of principal filters and the optimal selection of PCA-based algorithms were investigated to improve the diagnostic accuracy. The robustness of the spectral imaging method against noise in the autofluorescence signal was studied as well.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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