Automated localization of breast cancer in DCE-MRI

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Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) is increasingly being used for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Compared to mammography, DCE-MRI provides higher sensitivity, however its specificity is variable. Moreover, DCE-MRI data analysis is time consuming and depends on reader expertise. The aim of this work is to propose a novel automated breast cancer localization system for DCE-MRI. Such a system can be used to support radiologists in DCE-MRI analysis by marking suspicious areas. The proposed method initially corrects for motion artifacts and segments the breast. Subsequently, blob and relative enhancement voxel features are used to locate lesion candidates. Finally, a malignancy score for each lesion candidate is obtained using region-based morphological and kinetic features computed on the segmented lesion candidate. We performed experiments to compare the use of different classifiers in the region classification stage and to study the effect of motion correction in the presented system. The performance of the algorithm was assessed using free-response operating characteristic (FROC) analysis. For this purpose, a dataset of 209 DCE-MRI studies was collected. It is composed of 95 DCE-MRI studies with 105 breast cancers (55 mass-like and 50 non-mass-like malignant lesions) and 114 DCE-MRI studies from women participating in a screening program which were diagnosed to be normal. At 4 false positives per normal case, 89% of the breast cancers (91% and 86% for mass-like and non-mass-like malignant lesions, respectively) were correctly detected ​
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