Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a fatal blood cancer that progresses rapidly and hinders the function of blood cells and the immune system. The current AML diagnostic method, a manual examination of the peripheral blood smear, is time consuming, labor intensive, and suffers from considerable inter-observer variation. Herein, a machine learning model to detect and classify immature leukocytes for efficient diagnosis of AML is presented. Images of leukocytes in AML patients and healthy controls were obtained from a publicly available dataset in The Cancer Imaging Archive. Image format conversion, multi-Otsu thresholding, and morphological operations were used for segmentation of the nucleus and cytoplasm. From each image, 16 features were extracted, two of which are new nucleus color features proposed in this study. A random forest algorithm was trained for the detection and classification of immature leukocytes. The model achieved 92.99% accuracy for detection and 93.45% accuracy for classification of immature leukocytes into four types. Precision values for each class were above 65%, which is an improvement on the current state of art. Based on Gini importance, the nucleus to cytoplasm area ratio was a discriminative feature for both detection and classification, while the two proposed features were shown to be significant for classification. The proposed model can be used as a support tool for the diagnosis of AML, and the features calculated to be most important serve as a baseline for future research.
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