Ultrasound tomography (UST) is an emerging breast imaging modality that produces quantitative volumetric measurements of breast density without using ionizing radiation. Waveform reconstructions of UST sound speed images produce higher resolution maps of density distributions and has been shown to better separate dense tissue from non-dense tissue than ray based reconstructions. Volpara produces automated measures of volumetric mammographic density. Women who underwent both a UST scan and had a Volpara reading of their mammographic breast density had their density measures compared. Waveform sound speed images were reconstructed from the UST raw data and these images were then separated into regions of dense and non-dense tissue using a k-means clustering algorithm. This allowed for quantitative volumetric measures of average breast density along with subregion density measures. After preliminary analysis, correlations between the UST density measures and Volpara density measures were strong. In particular, the waveform density measures showed slightly stronger correlations with Volpara than the previous ray-based reconstructions, especially for direct measures of dense tissue. Further analysis is still required but this potentially indicates that waveform sound speed images are able to more clearly separate dense and non-dense regions of breast tissue.
Mark A. Sak, Neb Duric, and Peter Littrup, "Volumetric breast density comparisons between waveform UST sound speed imaging and mammography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10580, Medical Imaging 2018: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 1058010 (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 15, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296649.5751384108001.
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