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17 March 2008 Automated detection of breast vascular calcification on full-field digital mammograms
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Breast vascular calcifications (BVCs) are calcifications that line the blood vessel walls in the breast and appear as parallel or tubular tracks on mammograms. BVC is one of the major causes of the false positive (FP) marks from computer-aided detection (CADe) systems for screening mammography. With the detection of BVCs and the calcified vessels identified, these FP clusters can be excluded. Moreover, recent studies reported the increasing interests in the correlation between mammographically visible BVCs and the risk of coronary artery diseases. In this study, we developed an automated BVC detection method based on microcalcification prescreening and a new k-segments clustering algorithm. The mammogram is first processed with a difference-image filtering technique designed to enhance calcifications. The calcification candidates are selected by an iterative process that combines global thresholding and local thresholding. A new k-segments clustering algorithm is then used to find a set of line segments that may be caused by the presence of calcified vessels. A linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier was designed to reduce false segments that are not associated with BVCs. Four features for each segment selected with stepwise feature selection were used for this LDA classification. Finally, the neighboring segments were linked and dilated with morphological dilation to cover the regions of calcified vessels. A data set of 16 FFDM cases with vascular calcifications was collected for this preliminary study. Our preliminary result demonstrated that breast vascular calcifications can be accurately detected and the calcified vessels identified. It was found that the automated method can achieve a detection sensitivity of 65%, 70%, and 75% at 6.1 mm, 8.4 mm, and 12.6mm FP segments/image, respectively, without any true clustered microcalcifications being falsely marked. Further work is underway to improve this method and to incorporate it into our FFDM CADe system.
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Jun Ge, Heang-Ping Chan, Berkman Sahiner, Chuan Zhou, Mark A. Helvie, Jun Wei, Lubomir M. Hadjiiski, Yiheng Zhang, Yi-Ta Wu, and Jiazheng Shi "Automated detection of breast vascular calcification on full-field digital mammograms", Proc. SPIE 6915, Medical Imaging 2008: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 691517 (17 March 2008);

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