Mutual information-based template matching scheme for detection of breast masses: from mammography to digital breast tomosynthesis.
Development of a computational decision aid for a new medical imaging modality typically is a long and complicated process. It consists of collecting data in the form of images and annotations, development of image processing and pattern recognition algorithms for analysis of the new images and finally testing of the resulting system. Since new imaging modalities are developed more rapidly than ever before, any effort for decreasing the time and cost of this development process could result in maximizing the benefit of the new imaging modality to patients by making the computer aids quickly available to radiologists that interpret the images. In this paper, we make a step in this direction and investigate the possibility of translating the knowledge about the detection problem from one imaging modality to another. Specifically, we present a computer-aided detection (CAD) system for mammographic masses that uses a mutual information-based template matching scheme with intelligently selected templates. We presented principles of template matching with mutual information for mammography before. In this paper, we present an implementation of those principles in a complete computer-aided detection system. The proposed system, through an automatic optimization process, chooses the most useful templates (mammographic regions of interest) using a large database of previously collected and annotated mammograms. Through this process, the knowledge about the task of detecting masses in mammograms is incorporated in the system. Then, we evaluate whether our system developed for screen-film mammograms can be successfully applied not only to other mammograms but also to digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstructed slices without adding any DBT cases for training. Our rationale is that since mutual information is known to be a robust inter-modality image similarity measure, it has high potential of transferring knowledge between modalities in the context of the mass detection task. Experimental evaluation of the system on mammograms showed competitive performance compared to other mammography CAD systems recently published in the literature. When the system was applied "as-is" to DBT, its performance was notably worse than that for mammograms. However, with a simple additional preprocessing step, the performance of the system reached levels similar to that obtained for mammograms. In conclusion, the presented CAD system not only performed competitively on screen-film mammograms but it also performed robustly on DBT showing that direct transfer of knowledge across breast imaging modalities for mass detection is in fact possible.
Mazurowski, MA; Lo, JY; Harrawood, BP; Tourassi, GD
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