Assessing hip osteoarthritis severity utilizing a probabilistic neural network based classification scheme

Med Eng Phys. 2007 Mar;29(2):227-37. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2006.03.003. Epub 2006 Apr 19.


A computer-based classification system is proposed for the characterization of hips from pelvic radiographs as normal or osteoarthritic and for the discrimination among various grades of osteoarthritis (OA) severity. Pelvic radiographs of 18 patients with verified unilateral hip OA were evaluated by three experienced physicians, who assessed OA severity employing the Kellgren and Lawrence scale as: normal, mild/moderate and severe. Five run-length, 75 Laws' and 5 novel textural features were extracted from the digitized radiographic images of each patient's osteoarthritic and contralateral normal hip joint spaces (HJSs). Each one of the three sets of textural features (run-lengths, Laws' and novel features) was separately utilized for assigning hips into the three OA severity categories, by means of a probabilistic neural network (PNN) classifier based hierarchical tree structure. The highest classification accuracy (100%) for characterizing hips as normal, of mild/moderate or of severe OA was obtained for the novel textural features set. Additionally, the novel textural features were used to design a mathematical regression model for providing a quantitative estimation of OA severity. Measured OA severity values, as expressed by HJS-narrowing, correlated highly (r=0.85, p<0.001) with the predicted values by the mathematical regression model. The proposed system may be valuable in OA-patient management.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / classification*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index