19 September 2017 Three-dimensional segmentation of breast masses from digital breast tomosynthesis images
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Assessment of three-dimensional (3-D) morphology and volume of breast masses is important for cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment but cannot be derived from conventional mammography. Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) provides data from which 3-D mass segmentation could be obtained. Our method combined Gaussian mixture models based on intensity and a texture measure indicative of in-focus structure, gray-level variance. Thresholding these voxel probabilities, weighted by distance to the estimated mass center, gave the final 3-D segmentation. Evaluation used 40 masses annotated twice by a consultant radiologist on in-focus slices in two diagnostic views. Human intraobserver variability was assessed as the overlap between repeated annotations (median 77% and range 25% to 91%). Comparing the segmented mass outline with probability-weighted ground truth from these annotations, median agreement was 68%, and range was 7% to 88%. Annotated and segmented diameters correlated well with histological mass size (both Spearman’s rank correlations ρ=0.69). The volumetric segmentation demonstrated better agreement with tumor volumes estimated from pathology than volume derived from radiological annotations (95% limits of agreement −16 to 11 ml and −23 to 41 ml, respectively). We conclude that it is feasible to assess 3-D mass morphology and volume from DBT, and the method has the potential to aid breast cancer management.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Stefanie T. L. Pöhlmann, Yit Y. Lim, Elaine Harkness, Susan Pritchard, Christopher J. Taylor, Susan M. Astley, "Three-dimensional segmentation of breast masses from digital breast tomosynthesis images," Journal of Medical Imaging 4(3), 034007 (19 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JMI.4.3.034007 . Submission: Received: 31 January 2017; Accepted: 16 August 2017
Received: 31 January 2017; Accepted: 16 August 2017; Published: 19 September 2017

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