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30 March 2007 Analysis of percent density estimates from digital breast tomosynthesis projection images
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Women with dense breasts have an increased risk of breast cancer. Breast density is typically measured as the percent density (PD), the percentage of non-fatty (i.e., dense) tissue in breast images. Mammographic PD estimates vary, in part, due to the projective nature of mammograms. Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a novel radiographic method in which 3D images of the breast are reconstructed from a small number of projection (source) images, acquired at different positions of the x-ray focus. DBT provides superior visualization of breast tissue and has improved sensitivity and specificity as compared to mammography. Our long-term goal is to test the hypothesis that PD obtained from DBT is superior in estimating cancer risk compared with other modalities. As a first step, we have analyzed the PD estimates from DBT source projections since the results would be independent of the reconstruction method. We estimated PD from MLO mammograms (PDM) and from individual DBT projections (PDT). We observed good agreement between PDM and PDT from the central projection images of 40 women. This suggests that variations in breast positioning, dose, and scatter between mammography and DBT do not negatively affect PD estimation. The PDT estimated from individual DBT projections of nine women varied with the angle between the projections. This variation is caused by the 3D arrangement of the breast dense tissue and the acquisition geometry.
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Predrag R. Bakic, Despina Kontos, Cuiping Zhang, Martin J. Yaffe, and Andrew D. A. Maidment "Analysis of percent density estimates from digital breast tomosynthesis projection images", Proc. SPIE 6514, Medical Imaging 2007: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 651424 (30 March 2007);

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