Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) diagnosis and grading are affected by uncertainties which arise from the fact that almost all knowledge of PIN histopathology is expressed in concepts, descriptive linguistic terms, and words. A Bayesian belief network (BBN) was therefore used to reduce the problem of uncertainty in diagnostic clue assessment, while still considering the dependences between elements in the reasoning sequence. A shallow network was used with an open-tree topology, with eight first-level descendant nodes for the diagnostic clues (evidence nodes), each independently linked by a conditional probability matrix to a root node containing the diagnostic alternatives (decision node). One of the evidence nodes was based on the tissue architecture and the others were based on cell features. The system was designed to be interactive, in that the histopathologist entered evidence into the network in the form of likelihood ratios for outcomes at each evidence node. The efficiency of the network was tested on a series of 110 prostate specimens, subdivided as follows: 22 cases of non-neoplastic prostate or benign prostatic tissue (NP), 22 PINs of low grade (PINlow), 22 PINs of high grade (PINhigh), 22 prostatic adenocarcinomas with cribriform pattern (PACcri), and 22 prostatic adenocarcinomas with large acinar pattern (PAClgac). The results obtained in the benign and malignant categories showed that the belief for the diagnostic alternatives is very high, the values being in general more than 0.8 and often close to 1.0. When considering the PIN lesions, the network classified and graded most of the cases with high certainty. However, there were some cases which showed values less than 0.8 (13 cases out of 44), thus indicating that there are situations in which the feature changes are intermediate between contiguous categories or grades. Discrepancy between morphological grading and the BBN results was observed in four out of 44 PIN cases: one PINlow was classified as PINhigh and three PINhigh were classified as PINlow. In conclusion, the network can grade PlN lesions and differentiate them from other prostate lesions with certainty. In particular, it offers a descriptive classifier which is readily implemented and which allows the use of linguistic, fuzzy variables.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1995|
- EXPERT SYSTEMS
- PROSTATIC ADENOCARCINOMA
- BAYESIAN BELIEF NETWORK
- PROSTATIC INTRAEPITHELIAL NEOPLASIA
- DIAGNOSTIC DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS
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