Today around 275000 women a year in the world keep dying from the cancer of uterine cervix due to the difficulty to meet the logistic requirements of an organized screening in the developing world. Polarimetric imaging is a new promising technique with a tremendous potential for applications in biomedical diagnostics: it is sensitive to slight morphological changes in tissues, can provide wide field images for the screening and requires light sources such as a LED for example. This work intends to characterize the polarimetric response of the uterine cervix in its healthy and pathological states. An extensive series of ex-vivo measurements is in progress the Kremlin Bicêtre hospital near Paris using an imaging multispectral Mueller polarimeter in backscattering configuration. The goal of this study is to evaluate the performances of polarimetric imaging technique in terms of sensitivity and specificity for the detection of healthy epithelia (Healthy Squamous epithelium and Malpighian Metaplasia) with respect to the diagnosis provided by pathologists from histology slides as the “gold standard”. We show that, at λ=550nm, performances as high as 62% sensitivity and 64% specificity are achieved by optimizing a simple threshold on the scalar retardance values.

© 2015 SPIE

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