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20 March 2007 Evaluation of the global effect of anatomical background on microcalcifications detection
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Purpose: 1/ To validate a method for simulating microcalcifications in mammography 2/ To evaluate the effect of anatomical background on visibility of (simulated) microcalcifications Materials and methods: Microcalcifications were extracted from the raw data of specimen from a stereotactic vacuum needle biopsy. The sizes of the templates varied from 200 μm to 1350μm and the peak contrast from 1.3% to 24%. Experienced breast imaging radiologists were asked to blindly evaluate images containing real and simulated lesions. Analysis was done using ROC methodology. The simulated lesions have been used for the creation of composite image datasets: 408 microcalcifications were simulated into 161 ROI's of 59 digital mammograms, having different anatomical backgrounds. Nine radiologists were asked to detect and rate them under conditions of free-search. A modified receiver operating characteristic study (FROC) was applied to find correlations between detectability and anatomical background. Results: 1/ The calculated area under the ROC curve, Az, was 0.52± 0.04. Simulated microcalcifications could not be distinguished from real ones. 2/ In the anatomical background classified as Category 1 (fatty), the detection fraction is the lowest (0.48), while for type 2,3,4 there is a gradually decrease (from 0.61 to 0.54) as the glandularity increases. The number of false positives is the highest for the background Category 1 (24%), compared to the other three types (16%). A 80% detectability is found for microcalcifications with a diameter > 400μm and a peak contrast >10%. Anatomic noise seems to limit detectability of large low contrast lesions, having a diameter >700μm.
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Federica Zanca, Chantal Van Ongeval, Jurgen Jacobs, Paula Pöyry, Guy Marchal, and Hilde Bosmans "Evaluation of the global effect of anatomical background on microcalcifications detection", Proc. SPIE 6515, Medical Imaging 2007: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 65150H (20 March 2007);

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