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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Fatty Infiltration of the Liver on the Shannon Entropy of Ultrasound Backscattered Signals

by Po-Hsiang Tsui 1,2,3,* and Yung-Liang Wan 1,2,3,*
Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
Medical Imaging Research Center, Institute for Radiological Research, Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
Department of Medical Imaging and Intervention, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raúl Alcaraz Martínez
Entropy 2016, 18(9), 341;
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symbolic Entropy Analysis and Its Applications)
This study explored the effects of fatty infiltration on the signal uncertainty of ultrasound backscattered echoes from the liver. Standard ultrasound examinations were performed on 107 volunteers. For each participant, raw ultrasound image data of the right lobe of liver were acquired using a clinical scanner equipped with a 3.5-MHz convex transducer. An algorithmic scheme was proposed for ultrasound B-mode and entropy imaging. Fatty liver stage was evaluated using a sonographic scoring system. Entropy values constructed using the ultrasound radiofrequency (RF) and uncompressed envelope signals (denoted by HR and HE, respectively) as a function of fatty liver stage were analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Data were expressed as the median and interquartile range (IQR). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was performed to obtain the area under the ROC curve (AUC). The brightness of the entropy image typically increased as the fatty stage varied from mild to severe. The median value of HR monotonically increased from 4.69 (IQR: 4.60–4.79) to 4.90 (IQR: 4.87–4.92) as the severity of fatty liver increased (r = 0.63, p < 0.0001). Concurrently, the median value of HE increased from 4.80 (IQR: 4.69–4.89) to 5.05 (IQR: 5.02–5.07) (r = 0.69, p < 0.0001). In particular, the AUCs obtained using HE (95% CI) were 0.93 (0.87–0.99), 0.88 (0.82–0.94), and 0.76 (0.65–0.87) for fatty stages ≥mild, ≥moderate, and ≥severe, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 93.33%, 83.11%, and 86.00%, respectively (≥mild). Fatty infiltration increases the uncertainty of backscattered signals from livers. Ultrasound entropy imaging has potential for the routine examination of fatty liver disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound; fatty liver; entropy imaging; steatosis; information theory ultrasound; fatty liver; entropy imaging; steatosis; information theory
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Tsui, P.-H.; Wan, Y.-L. Effects of Fatty Infiltration of the Liver on the Shannon Entropy of Ultrasound Backscattered Signals. Entropy 2016, 18, 341.

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