Machine Learning-Based Technique for the Severity Classification of Sublingual Varices according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ping Hsun Lu, Chih Chi Chiang, Wei Hsuan Yu, Min Chien Yu, Feng Nan Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tongue diagnosis, a noninvasive examination, is an essential step for syndrome differentiation and treatment in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Sublingual vein (SV) is examined to determine the presence of blood stasis and blood stasis syndrome. Many studies have shown that the degree of SV stasis positively correlates with disease severity. However, the diagnoses of SV examination are often subjective because they are influenced by factors such as physicians' experience and color perception, resulting in different interpretations. Therefore, objective and scientific diagnostic approaches are required to determine the severity of sublingual varices. This study aims at developing a computer-assisted system based on machine learning (ML) techniques for diagnosing the severity of sublingual varicose veins. We conducted a comparative study of the performance of several supervised ML models, including the support vendor machine, K-neighbor, decision tree, linear regression, and Ridge classifier and their variants. The main task was to differentiate sublingual varices into mild and severe by using images of patients' SVs. To improve diagnostic accuracy and to accelerate the training process, we proposed using two model reduction techniques, namely, the principal component analysis in conjunction with the slice inverse regression and the convolution neural network (CNN), to extract valuable features during the preprocessing of data. Our results showed that these two extraction methods can reduce the training time for the ML methods, and the Ridge-CNN method can achieve an accuracy rate as high as 87.5%, which is similar to that of experienced TCM physicians. This computer-aided tool can be used for reference clinical diagnosis. Furthermore, it can be employed by junior physicians to learn and to use in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3545712
JournalComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
StatePublished - 2022


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