Content-based processing and analysis of endoscopic images and videos: A survey
BACKGROUND The duration of bronchoscopy examinations varies considerably depending on the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures used. It can last more than 20 minutes if a complex diagnostic work-up is included. With wide access to videobronchoscopy, the whole procedure can be recorded as a video sequence. Common practice relies on an active attitude of the bronchoscopist who initiates the recording process and usually chooses to archive only selected views and sequences. However, it may be important to record the full bronchoscopy procedure as documentation when liability issues are at stake. Furthermore, an automatic recording of the whole procedure enables the bronchoscopist to focus solely on the performed procedures. Video recordings registered during bronchoscopies include a considerable number of frames of poor quality due to blurry or unfocused images. It seems that such frames are unavoidable due to the relatively tight endobronchial space, rapid movements of the respiratory tract due to breathing or coughing, and secretions which occur commonly in the bronchi, especially in patients suffering from pulmonary disorders. METHODS The use of recorded bronchoscopy video sequences for diagnostic, reference and educational purposes could be considerably extended with efficient, flexible summarization algorithms. Thus, the authors developed a prototype system to create shortcuts (called summaries or abstracts) of bronchoscopy video recordings. Such a system, based on models described in previously published papers, employs image analysis methods to exclude frames or sequences of limited diagnostic or education value. RESULTS The algorithm for the selection or exclusion of specific frames or shots from video sequences recorded during bronchoscopy procedures is based on several criteria, including automatic detection of "non-informative", frames showing the branching of the airways and frames including pathological lesions. CONCLUSIONS The paper focuses on the challenge of generating summaries of bronchoscopy video recordings.