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PeerJ Computer Science

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Background Blood diseases such as leukemia, anemia, lymphoma, and thalassemia are hematological disorders that relate to abnormalities in the morphology and concentration of blood elements, specifically white blood cells (WBC) and red blood cells (RBC). Accurate and efficient diagnosis of these conditions significantly depends on the expertise of hematologists and pathologists. To assist the pathologist in the diagnostic process, there has been growing interest in utilizing computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) techniques, particularly those using medical image processing and machine learning algorithms. Previous surveys in this domain have been narrowly focused, often only addressing specific areas like segmentation or classification but lacking a holistic view like segmentation, classification, feature extraction, dataset utilization, evaluation matrices, etc . Methodology This survey aims to provide a comprehensive and systematic review of existing literature and research work in the field of blood image analysis using deep learning techniques. It particularly focuses on medical image processing techniques and deep learning algorithms that excel in the morphological characterization of WBCs and RBCs. The review is structured to cover four main areas: segmentation techniques, classification methodologies, descriptive feature selection, evaluation parameters, and dataset selection for the analysis of WBCs and RBCs. Results Our analysis reveals several interesting trends and preferences among researchers. Regarding dataset selection, approximately 50% of research related to WBC segmentation and 60% for RBC segmentation opted for manually obtaining images rather than using a predefined dataset. When it comes to classification, 45% of the previous work on WBCs chose the ALL-IDB dataset, while a significant 73% of researchers focused on RBC classification decided to manually obtain images from medical institutions instead of utilizing predefined datasets. In terms of feature selection for classification, morphological features were the most popular, being chosen in 55% and 80% of studies related to WBC and RBC classification, respectively. Conclusion The diagnostic accuracy for blood-related diseases like leukemia, anemia, lymphoma, and thalassemia can be significantly enhanced through the effective use of CAD techniques, which have evolved considerably in recent years. This survey provides a broad and in-depth review of the techniques being employed, from image segmentation to classification, feature selection, utilization of evaluation matrices, and dataset selection. The inconsistency in dataset selection suggests a need for standardized, high-quality datasets to strengthen the diagnostic capabilities of these techniques further. Additionally, the popularity of morphological features indicates that future research could further explore and innovate in this direction.







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Computer Sciences


Blood cell, Image segmentation, Classification, Medical image processing, Deep learning

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series