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International Journal of Applied Engineering Research

ISSN 0973-4562 Volume 9, Number 16 (2014) pp. 3623-3632

Research India Publications

Analysing the Oxygen Variation by Image Processing
Technique in the Surface Level Infrared Images

M. Giri Vivek Narayan
, N.S. Manigandan
, S. Rakesh Kumar

SEEE, SASTRA University, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu 613401, India


Infrared (IR) radiation is emitted by all objects above zero Kelvin. Since
humans are warm blooded they emit infrared radiation. Oxygen saturation is
an indicator of disease in humans, based on this oxygen level infrared
radiation varies. When oxygen to a body region increases the metabolism in
that region is increased which leads to an increase in temperature along that
region, due to this increased temperature profile infrared radiation in that
region gets increased. Similarly decrease of oxygen to a region leads to
reduced metabolism which gives a decrease in temperature profile and infrared
radiation. So finding out the intensity variation in the image will leads to the
oxygen variation in human body. In this paper an analysis is made by
providing an user defined threshold values to the pixels in an image to
represent the regions related to its intensity, three threshold values of 0.5, 0.75,
0.9 are used to classify less oxygenated regions in the arthritis patient and
higher oxygenated regions in hypothyroidism patient. This allows finding out
the disease severity and the regions with similar condition in the given infrared
image taken from the patient. Diagnosis and prognosis is done from the
infrared images by processing the images.

Index Terms- Oxygen saturation, Temperature profile, Threshold, Diagnosis,

Medical imaging is the technique of creating images of human parts and its activities
for medical examination. These are painless and easy technique for health diagnosis.
Many imaging technique exists nowadays for this examination purpose, in which
Infrared imaging is a technique that finds many application in medical field due to its
3624 M. Giri Vivek Narayan, N.S. Manigandan, S. Rakesh Kumar

advantages over other imaging techniques like non invasive, risk free ,non irradiative,
inexpensive and readily usable.
Thermographic cameras are used to detect the radiation in the IR range of
electromagnetic spectrum since all body above zero Kelvin emits IR radiation as per
the black body radiation law it makes to see ones environment either with
illumination or without illumination. Temperature variation is well differentiated in
these images. Brest tumor detection is possible with high accuracy [10 - 13] and with
no radiation than technique like mammography initial stage of tumor is also possible
to detect by using some laser irradiation [1 - 3]. From early days of human life body
temperature has been an indicator of health, every disease has been correlated with
our body temperature till now. This gives a chance to make use of infrared images to
analyze our health as the infrared radiation is a function of temperature [4,5].
Oxygen saturation is nothing but concentration of oxygen in the blood, normal
blood oxygen level for human being ranges from 95% - 100% [6, 8].Impure blood
which is supplied by heart to lung gets oxygenated in lungs and then this oxygenated
blood is again pumped by heart to all parts of the body this oxygen is being utilized
for every action by the cells in our body. Foods that we consume are breakdown to
proteins with the presence of oxygen and this energy is used up by the cells all over
our body for every function. Brain is only about 2% of a persons body but it requires
about 20% of its oxygen and calories. When this blood oxygen level goes beyond
certain percentage several abnormalities like hypoxemia, ischemia occurs. Hyper
spectral images using infrared cameras are used for many purposes like oxygen
saturation evaluation [14], to analyze the healing process foot ulcers of diabetic
patients [15], IR images also helps in diagnose hemorrhagic shock [16] and helps
surgeons to locate the tumor tissues during surgeries time [17]. Sometimes when
abnormal cell growth happens in some places this leads to cancerous growth [1, 2]
over these regions the oxygen supply will be more than other places as increased
number of cells are active over that region. So there is a notable variation in oxygen
level across the entire body.
When a region is getting more oxygen then there will be a more metabolism
comparing to its neighboring regions because of this higher metabolism rate
temperature over the region will gets increased, similarly when a region is having less
oxygen supply than the required level than normal cellular metabolism will not occur
in the region which results in decreased in temperature over that region [7]. These
variations in temperature due to cellular metabolism can be easily captured by the
Infrared cameras which pick up the thermal radiations. This radiation is a function of
heat liberation in our body, which is already a function of oxygen so when the
intensity of colors in infrared radiation is able to process then the oxygen level over
the region can be analyzed and its variation can also be measured.
Analysis is nothing but identifying the required substance composition, here am
interested in oxygen level in our body parts which is getting altered by cell
metabolism in every region. The analysis is made from the infrared images taken from
the patient by processing the infrared images. Image processing is nothing but
analyzing and manipulating the image using computer. The steps basically involves
are importing the image, analyzing and manipulating to give an output which can
Analysing the Oxygen Variation by Image Processing Technique 3625

either be an altered image or the report that is made during the image analysis.

Fig. 1. Flow chart that shows the proposed method

Image acquisition is the first step to do the image processing which is nothing but
retrieving an image from some source, in this the image is acquired with some initial
setup in order to eliminate the preprocessing steps like noise reduction, smoothening
etc. The basic setup includes capturing the image in a dark room so that there is no
other illumination or any hot objects present, if so that will lead to noise as that
radiation part which is outside our region of interest will also be treated as a human
body part this may lead to wrong analysis as all work is done by computers not by
humans. Even some other effects like increased surrounding temperature will also
lead to this problem so the image should be captured in a dark room with maintained
constant temperature is a very essential step to do before capturing images.
Image acquisition operation composed of; capturing energy from the object we
are interested in, to focus this energy we want an optical system, to measures the
amount of energy a sensor is needed. The camera will be exactly similar to normal
visible light capturing cameras but instead of working in wavelength range of 450
nanometers (nm) to 750 nm it works in the range up to 14,000 nm. A camera requires
a measurable energy to capture a image these energies are nothing but
electromagnetic waves which is a massless entity called photon. Energy E is used to
describe a Photon and also by its frequency f, frequency is nothing but number of
cycles per second. A photon can also be described by its wavelength ; all the three
3626 M. Giri Vivek Narayan, N.S. Manigandan, S. Rakesh Kumar

equations are connected with the speed of light c and Planks constant h as shown in
equation (1).
, E = h.f E = .

In this paper an Infrared image of a subject who is affected with arthritis on left
leg is shown in Fig.2 (a) for the analysis of oxygen variation which shows decrease in
blood supply to that left knee region so that region has less IR radiation and it is blue
in color, on the right leg the blood supply is more than that of any region so radiation
from that region is more which is red in color. Similarly another image of a patient
with hypothyroidism is also taken for analysis as shown in Fig. 2 (b)

(a) (b)

Fig. 2. IR images of patients with (a) arthritis on left leg, (b) hypothyroidism

It is the process of separating the digital image into multiple images which is useful
and meaningful for image analysis and interpretation, the segmented region should
strongly contain the region of interest then only its called a meaningful segmentation.
There are many ways to do this image segmentation. Segmentation techniques are
I. Contextual
II. Non contextual

Non contextual take no account of spatial relationship between features in the
image but contextual has those relationships, there are many methods available in
these two techniques. In this paper I took color thresholding method and used in
Analysing the Oxygen Variation by Image Processing Technique 3627

MATLAB. This method of segmentation can be more accurate because every pixel in
an image is the combination of R, G, B colors. All the images taken into the
MATLAB are stored in the matrix form, each element contain three values which are
representing the R, G, B values so this is used to convert the real / color image in to
three grey scaled images each image showing the R, G, B colors respectively as
shown in Fig 3.[(a)(b)(c)]. As I discussed earlier hotter or more oxygenated regions
emit more radiation so they are represented red in color and the colder or less
oxygenated regions emit less radiation so they are represented blue in color. This
color segmentation method helps us to separate the less oxygenated and more
oxygenated regions alone from the entire color image.

Fig.3 (a) segmented region of Red color region alone, (b) segmented region of blue
color region alone, (c) segmented region of Green color region alone.

When dealing with region of interest several compact representations help us to
manipulate more information from the image for analysis. Contour makes an isoplane
with each pixels in the region with similar characteristics like color, intensity. Fig.4
shows the contour for blue region alone. It draws the contour plot of matrix Z which
is interpreted as height from the X-Y plane. It is created in Cartesian coordinates(X,
Y, Z), if its in cylindrical coordinate (r, , z) then its converted to Cartesian
coordinate then contour is created. MATLAB was used to find the contour plane, the
number of contour plane is chosen automatically by calculating the maximum and
minimum values of the height matrix Z, it use Linear Interpolation technique to make
the contour lines. The two points or pixels are taken as I(X
, Y
, Z
)and J(X
) then
the contour coordinates are computed by linear interpolation. Range of X and Y axis
depends on matrix size of Z. Coordinates of the characteristic points are found by the
following equations




) (2)





) (3)
3628 M. Giri Vivek Narayan, N.S. Manigandan, S. Rakesh Kumar

Fig.4 contour for the blue colored region (i.e.) less oxygenated region

After getting concluded from the contour that there are different intensity levels exist
within the region of interest which is separated using image segmentation technique
color segmentation method, it is understood that it is feasible to analyze the affected
region based on the oxygen variation which is proportional to the intensity variation
in the pixels of the image. So on an user defined threshold valuesare used in this paper
to classify the region of interest areas in such a way that the threshold will lead to
select the particular pixels which is greater than the given threshold which is
proportional to the amount of radiation which is again proportional to the oxygen
levels in varies places.

It is shown that on varying the threshold level gives the oxygen variation in the
regions of our body through the image taken; various threshold levels and its results
for the less oxygenated regions are discussed from Fig.5.(a) to Fig.5.(e) and more
oxygenated region are discussed from Fig.6.(a) to Fig.6.(d).

Analysing the Oxygen Variation by Image Processing Technique 3629

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig.5 (a) shows region bounded for threshold value T=0.5, (b) shows region bounded
for threshold value T=0.75, (c) shows region bounded for threshold value T=0.9, (d)
shows region that are in between T=0.75 to T=0.9 alone by subtracting 5 (b) and 5 (c),
(e) shows the region that are in between T=0.5 to T=0.75 by subtracting 5 (a) and 5

Blue color regions are less oxygenated and in the Fig.5.(a)Cover the entire less
oxygenated area when a less threshold is kept (T=0.5), Fig.5.(b) shows only the
regions with very less oxygen level and is covered by the red color boundary line
these regions are got by increasing the threshold level to a medium range (T=0.75),
Fig.5.(c) shows least oxygenated regions covered by the red color boundary when
high threshold is given (T=0.9). It is clear from the above results that on increasing
the threshold for the pixels in the image the boundary that covers the region decreases
and traces regions where oxygen level are getting decreased. This is also verified by
taking the contour of the blue region where the different oxygen levels.
3630 M. Giri Vivek Narayan, N.S. Manigandan, S. Rakesh Kumar

To get the exact regions that is very less oxygenated we are using two different
color boundaries to separate the regions of least oxygenated from very less
oxygenated region, so the region between the yellow and red region is what the
regions in between the threshold levels of T=0.75 to T=0.9 which is shown in
Fig.5.(d). Similarly the regions which are in between the threshold levels of T=0.5 to
T=0.75 can be found as shown in Fig.5.(e) which is differenced by the red and yellow
color boundaries which represents the entire less oxygenated region and very less
oxygenated region. So on reducing the threshold the entire less oxygenated regions
are covered by the boundary line, similarly on increasing the threshold the least
oxygenated regions are only covered by the boundary line. As normalization is done
these threshold values can be used from 0 to 1 only.
In hypothyroidism image the red color segmentation is done to separate only the
thyroid regions which are emitting more IR radiation as shown in Fig.6.(a) then the
threshold classified regions for three values of T=0.5, T=0.75, T=0.9 images are
shown in Fig.6.[(b)(c)(d)] respectively. Fig.6.(b) shows the highest oxygenated
regions alone, Fig.6.(c) shows higher oxygenated region and Fig.6.(d) shows the
entire high oxygenated regions.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Fig.6 (a) shows the color segmented image of Red color alone (b) shows region
bounded for threshold value T=0.9, (c) shows region bounded for threshold value
T=0.75, (d) shows region bounded for threshold value T=0.5.

Analysing the Oxygen Variation by Image Processing Technique 3631

Obtained results show that analyzingthe oxygen level variation is possible to obtain
from the Infrared Images by processing it. Threshold values can also be kept constant
to make the analysis for various diseases; the images are taken from many samples
under same environment and with same camera with same operating frequency from
which it is possible to find the severity of a disease, healing process of the fire burns
or wounds. Prognosis of a disease can also be done with this analyzed data.

I would like to thank Martin Mohrke, Europe Resource Coordinator, Foundation for
Alternative and Integrative Medicine (FAIM) for making the test images online.


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