Clinical and pathological correlates of severity classifications in trigger fingers based on computer-aided image analysis

Tai Hua Yang, Hsin Chen Chen, Yung Chun Liu, Hui Hsuan Shih, Li Chieh Kuo, Stephen Cha, Hsiao Bai Yang, Dee Shan Yang, I. Ming Jou, Yung Nien Sun, Fong Chin Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The treatment of trigger finger so far has heavily relied on clinicians' evaluations for the severity of patients' symptoms and the functionality of affected fingers. However, there is still a lack of pathological evidence supporting the criteria of clinical evaluations. This study's aim was to correlate clinical classification and pathological changes for trigger finger based on the tissue abnormality observed from microscopic images.Methods: Tissue samples were acquired, and microscopic images were randomly selected and then graded by three pathologists and two physicians, respectively. Moreover, the acquired images were automatically analyzed to derive two quantitative parameters, the size ratio of the abnormal tissue region and the number ratio of the abnormal nuclei, which can reflect tissue abnormality caused by trigger finger. A self-developed image analysis system was used to avoid human subjectivity during the quantification process. Finally, correlations between the quantitative image parameters, pathological grading, and clinical severity classification were assessed.Results: One-way ANOVA tests revealed significant correlations between the image quantification and pathological grading as well as between the image quantification and clinical severity classification. The Cohen's kappa coefficient test also depicted good consistency between pathological grading and clinical severity classification.Conclusions: The criteria of clinical classification were found to be highly associated with the pathological changes of affected tissues. The correlations serve as explicit evidence supporting clinicians in making a treatment strategy of trigger finger. In addition, our proposed computer-aided image analysis system was considered to be a promising and objective approach to determining trigger finger severity at the microscopic level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
JournalBiomedical engineering online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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