A study on the computerized fractal analysis of architectural distortion in screening mammograms.
Architectural distortion (AD) is a sign of malignancy often missed during mammographic interpretation. The purpose of this study was to explore the application of fractal analysis to the investigation of AD in screening mammograms. The study was performed using mammograms from the Digital Database for Screening Mammography (DDSM). The fractal dimension (FD) of mammographic regions of interest (ROIs) was calculated using the circular average power spectrum technique. Initially, the variability of the FD estimates depending on ROI location, mammographic view and breast side was studied on normal mammograms. Then, the estimated FD was evaluated using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis to determine if it can discriminate ROIs depicting AD from those depicting normal breast parenchyma. The effect of several factors such as ROI size, image subsampling and breast density was studied in detail. Overall, the average FD of the normal ROIs was statistically significantly higher than that of the ROIs with AD. This result was consistent across all factors studied. For the studied set of implementation parameters, the best ROC performance achieved was 0.89 +/- 0.02. The generalizability of these conclusions across different digitizers was also demonstrated.
Tourassi, GD; Delong, DM; Floyd, CE
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