Seereen Noorwali, January 2011--June 2013, "Semi-automatic Tracking of the Hyoid bone and the Epiglottis Movements in Digital Videofluoroscopic Images", Computer Science Department, Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario, Canada

M.Sc. Thesis Abstract

Swallowing is a process that happens hundreds of times per day during eating, drinking, or swallowing saliva. Dysphagia is an abnormality in any stage of the swallowing process. It can cause serious problems such as dehydration and respiratory infection. In order to help dysphasic patients, radiologists need to evaluate the patient's swallowing ability, usually using Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS). During the assessment, several measurements are taken and evaluated, such as the displacement of the hyoid bone and epiglottis. Usually radiologists perform evaluation by means of visual inspection, which is a time consuming process that produces subjective results. Previous research has made strides automating swallowing measurements in order to produce objective results, but there is no study that automatically tracks the movement of the epiglottis. This thesis presents a design and implementation of a Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system that can automatically track the movement of the hyoid bone and the epiglottis using minimal user input. The correlation between these two movements will be studied. With the aid of this system, radiologists can more reliably and efficiently take measurements and evaluate the health of the swallowing process.