



Abstract
MADIP (Morphometrical Analysis by Digital Image Processing) is an useful software for the diagnostic, prognostic and research in quantitative pathology, stereology and mophometric of macro and microscopic lesions in biomedical images. MADIP can be also used for processing and morphometrical analysis of images in other different science and technology research fields. It is composed by a set of quantitative procedures, which allows the user to carry out any measurement of the objects or structures. The results of measurements are stored and they may be statistically processed.

Introduction
Image processing has found a significant role in scientific, industrial, biomedical, space, and governmental applications. Among the applications, the biomedical ones have contributed to aid medical practitioners in the detection and diagnosis of disease from images. The morphometrical analysis using digital images allows measurement of diverse parameters in many structures. In this way the analysis is less expensive and it's carried out more rapidly and precisely. Several applications have been developed in this field. This paper describes the project MADIP Morphometrical Analysis by Digital Image Processing, which is a system addressed to solve problems in a such sense.

Description of the system
MADIP Morphometrical Analysis by Digital Image Processing is a system created to help physicians in his research work. The first version of this system was created in 1992 and it was introduced in the National Health System in 1995. This version was registered by the Governmental Centre of Medical Equipments. The first version of the system MADIP was made in DOS and it was programmed in C and Assembler.
The main functions of each part of the software are described below:
· Visualisation and Storage: it is designed to capture the image and storage it.
· Measurements: This is the fundamental part of the system and it allows the user to carry out different measurements. The mesurements are related to a set of points S selected by the user. Users can employ the keyboard or the mouse to indicate the structures (a set of points S). All measurements are stored in the report file. Statistics of measurements (mean, standard deviation, median, maximum and minimum values) are also included in this file. The system must be calibrated in order to carry out the measurements. This task is undertaken by using the Tools. Among the measurements are:
Distance: MADIP uses the Euclidean distance to compute the distance between two points.
Area: The area of the set S is simply the number of points of S. The computation of the area in this software is based on the calculation of the area of the polygon with vertices P0(x0,y0), P1(x1,y1), P2(x2,y2) ,..., Pn(xn,yn).
Perimeter: In this application we computed the perimeter of the set S.
Length: The calculation of the length is used to measure the length of the structures which can be neither straigth line or curvilinear shape.
Minor and major axes: The major axis is the straigth line with the larger length that joins two points of the contour of the selected structure. MADIP considers that the minor axis is the perpendicular line across the centre of the major one.
Shape factor: The shape factor expresses the relation between two measurements. The value of this relation is very often used in morphometrical analysis to describe the shape of the structures. In this application we used the following shape factors:
1. Elliptical factor: It is defined as the ratio between the minor and major axes.
2. Circular factor.
3. Circulant factor.
Count of units: this option allows the user the semiautomatic counting of the structures (the user selects the structures ).
Measurements per area: Using this option the user carries out the measurements of area, perimeter, count of units respect to selected area (pattern area). For the contoured structures the system automatically computes the minor and major axes.
Area in percentage: This option is very useful to calculate the percentage of the area of the contoured structures that represent the same type of objects, respect to the pattern area. For each type of object the user selects a different colour. In this case in the report file is also stored the count of objects of the same type and its total area, the percentage of the area of the objects of the same type respect to the pattern area. Also is calculated the mean, median and standard desviation of the area of the same type objects.
Angle: This option allows to calculate the angle between different structures.
Relation between segments: To compute this value the software first calculates the length of the selected segments (structures) and then computes the ratio between the length of them.


· Tools: The algorithms in this part are designed to calibrate the system, to view and to print the report file. With the Tools the system also allows the graphical representation of measurement. The setting of the storage path of images and the report file is carried out by system.
· Help: The help module constitutes the users' guide.
The previous version of MADIP has been used in morphometrical analysis of liver, pancreas tissue cuts, experimental animal skins, atherosclerotic lesions, fiber of paper, in breast cancer cytology, and in Biology.

Our group is working now in the new version of the system. This new version allows to preprocess the images and automatical segmentation of the structures too, which leads to automatical measurement of them. We are introducing the module dedicated Stereology, which offers a method for the spacial interpretation of the microscopic sections studied by biologists, pathologists, physicians and others specialists. The system allows to stablish the estimation of number, length, surface area, and volume of the structures too.

