Digital Image Processing for Medical Applications

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Image processing is a hands-on discipline, and the best way to learn is by doing. This text takes its motivation from medical applications and uses real medical images and situations to illustrate and clarify concepts and to build intuition, insight and understanding. Designed for advanced undergraduates and graduate students who will become end-users of digital image processing, it covers the basics of the major clinical imaging modalities, explaining how the images are produced and acquired. It then presents the standard image processing operations, focusing on practical issues and problem solving. Crucially, the book explains when and why particular operations are done, and practical computer-based activities show how these operations affect real images. All images, links to the public-domain software ImageJ and custom plug-ins, and selected solutions are available from

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: William J Davros, PhD, ABMP (D)(Cleveland Clinic Foundation)
Description: This book is designed to cover the full scope of image processing as it relates to medical applications. It uses mathematics as a tool to assist with concept understanding without being overbearing with derivations and is well illustrated with line drawings, gray scale drawings and images, and color images. It also includes three well-done appendixes, a solid bibliography, and an exhaustive index. Of particular note is the inclusion of computer-based activities meant to reinforce learning objectives.
Purpose: The purpose is to prepare junior and senior undergraduates and first-year graduate students to be end-users of image processing and analysis technology. It seeks to deliver on this purpose not only instructing through prose, but also through a wealth of examples, exercises, and computer-based activities. It uses mathematics only when doing so supports broader conceptual understanding of the topic. This book seeks to not only explain how to do a particular process, but to give insight as to why it is important that the process be done.
Audience: The author intends this book for biomedical engineers, computer scientists, radiological scientists, and physicists. However, the quality is such that the audience could be extended to include medical physicists, digital artists, digital animators, and art restoration professionals. It also would be appropriate for graduate students in these disciplines who have an interest in the mathematical and computer-based manipulation of all types of imaging. It does use limited mathematical equations that involve calculus, linear algebra, convolutions and summations, so readers should be well versed in intermediate mathematics.
Features: Part one, "Introduction to Image Processing" is actually more of an introduction to medical imaging than to image processing. Chapters cover imaging systems, medical images obtained with ionizing radiation, and medical images obtained with non-ionizing radiation. This is the weakest section in the book, but it does put forward the method by which medical images are acquired and as such has a place in the book. Part two, on fundamental concepts of image processing, is a tour de force explanation of image processing in the spatial and frequency domains. I particularly like the section on Fourier transforms and their uses in image processing. This section is loaded with fantastic examples that clearly drive home the messages about image improvement through processing in either the spatial or frequency domains. Part three, on image analysis, extends the concepts of image processing to higher order operations that can markedly alter images and three-dimensional objects in image space as well as characterize images into various parameters. There is a nice section on morphologic changes and how these operators perform their functions. There is also an outstanding section on image segmentation that has continued to be an area of intense interest from a research and clinical utility point of view. The final part, on medical applications and ongoing developments, consists of two chapters. The first of these provides excellent real-life examples of the clinical utility of image processing, nicely tying the concepts taught earlier in the book to their logical conclusion. The last chapter is a bit disappointing, but after the superb effort evident in the previous chapters, the author has some license for a tired finish. The book concludes with three strong appendixes that nicely organize the mathematics of much of the book in a single location for easy and in-depth study. These include topics such as Fourier transforms, set theory, Boolean operators, probability, and concepts related to shape and texture.
Assessment: This book is well written, hangs together as a complete work, is coherent and easy to read, and makes good on the claims set forth in the preface and introduction. It also has a broader audience than the author has modestly set forward. The examples, illustrations, and chapter constructions are outstanding. The two middle sections are the heart of the book and the index is useful and complete. This book is a must for anyone going into image processing, period.
From the Publisher
"Digital Image Processing succeeds in being an accessible but rigorous first course in the generation and manipulation of medical images. Dougherty moves seamlessly between gamma rays, radiation doses, picture archiving strategies, Boolean logic, Fourier transforms, and applications like mammography and angiography. The chief strengths of Digital Image Processing are its clear and well-considered organization, its accessibility to a variety of audiences, and its applicability to an array of imaging modalities and techniques.The book also has wonderful illustrations, particularly of how to enhance images in the spatial and frequency domains."
David R. Okada & Ron Blankstein, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

"The author states that this book is intended for biomedical engineers, computer scientists, radiological scientists, and physicists. It is my opinion that the quality of this book extends that list to medical physicists, digital artists, digital animators, and art restoration professionals. It also would be appropriate for graduate students in these disciplines who have an interest in the mathematical and computer-based manipulation of all types of imaging.... This book is well written, hangs together as a complete work, is coherent, easy to read, and makes good on its claims set forth in the preface and introduction.... The examples, illustrations, and chapter constructions are outstanding. The two middle sections of the book are its forte, and the index is useful and complete. This book is a must for anyone going into image processing —- period."
William Davros, Medical Physics

"Dougherty writes clearly, and the text provides many useful, understandable illustrations, several in color."
S.L. Tanimoto, CHOICE

"Digital image processing is a vast field. Even applications in medical imaging cover a very wide spectrum of activities. These can range from simple calculations of image profiles to complex CT reconstruction. Geoff Dougherty’s book manages to condense the enormous digital image processing toolbox to a level that is ideal for someone with background in medical imaging wishing to explore this field. Getting the level correct is always difficult, but Professor Dougherty’s vast teaching experience is clearly evident throughout the book. Relatively simple mathematics is used, but only where necessary. A particularly attractive aspect of the book are the computer-based activities in each chapter which give the reader ‘hands-on’ image processing experience. It is also an ideal starter textbook for a scientist proposing to specialise in medical image processing; the bibliography is impressive and up to date. It’s the book I’d like to have read starting out in medical image processing some twenty-five years ago!"
Patrick Kenny, Chief Physicist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521860857
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 462
  • Sales rank: 1,368,417
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Dougherty is Professor of Applied Physics and Medical Imaging at California State University Channel Islands where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in image processing, medical imaging and pattern recognition. He has been conducting research in the applications of image processing and analysis to medical images for over 15 years, and is the author of more than 60 publications. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Fellow of the IET and a Member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).
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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Imaging systems; 3. Medical images obtained with ionizing radiation; 4. Medical images obtained with non-ionizing radiation; 5. Fundamentals of digital image processing; 6. Image enhancement in the spatial domain; 7. Image enhancement in the frequency domain; 8. Image restoration; 9. Morphological image processing; 10. Image segmentation; 11. Feature recognition and classification; 12. Three-dimensional visualization; 13. Medical applications of imaging; 14. Frontiers of image processing in medicine; Appendix A. The Fourier Series and Fourier Transform; Appendix B. Set theory and probability; Appendix C. Shape and texture; Bibliography; Index.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2009

    Great book!

    I'm so lucky to have gotten an early copy. This is a great book to read. It sucks you in, so you want to read more, and more, and more ... it's written so well it doesn't even seem like a textbook. I love the computer exercises that you do using ImageJ (the book even contains additional ImageJ "plugins") ... it makes learning so instant, and you see the applications right away.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    The best book in the field!

    Just got an advance copy of this book. It is amazing!! Superbly written and copiously illustrated, it makes everything seem so ... obvious, because of its intuitive approach. At last, everything you wanted to know about imaging (!) collected in the one place. This is a very attractive book, at a very reasonable price, written by a great teacher. I suspect that it will become a standard very quickly for undergraduate and graduate courses in imaging, and for those who want to enter the field it's a great book to learn from.
    I have used many texts over the years, but this is the one for me from now on ...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    The best book on imaging!

    Such a well-written, acutely-organized and extremely accessible book. Great explanations, and very topical examples and applications. I love how it leads you effortlessly into the world of image processing, gives you the details, but doesn't bury you in over-the-top mathematics. If you're planning to buy a text in digital imaging, then this should be it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    The best book in its field...A must-read for students and professionals alike..

    Clearly defined chapters, delightful illustrations, engaging exercises (including computer-based ImageJ activities), and easily accessible, this marvelously written book provides a clear understanding of imaging processing and medical imaging without overbearing its readers with complex mathematical terms or overtly scientific jargon. It's concise, practical, and highly entertaining and informative. The supplementary website provides countless ImageJ downloads to further enhance your understanding of the subject matter. It's an enjoyable read, even for those with little background in the imaging field...and it's now required reading for my absolutely engrossing and well crafted title!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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