Automated Characterization of Breast Lesions Imaged with an Ultrafast DCE-MR Protocol

B. Platel, R. Mus, T. Welte, N. Karssemeijer and R. Mann

IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2014:225-232.

DOI PMID Cited by ~49

Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) of the breast has become an invaluable tool in the clinical work-up of patients suspected of having breast carcinoma. The purpose of this study is to introduce novel features extracted from the kinetics of contrast agent uptake imaged by a short (100~s) view-sharing MRI protocol, and to investigate how these features measure up to commonly used features for regular DCE-MRI of the breast. Performance is measured with a computer aided diagnosis (CADx) system aimed at distinguishing benign from malignant lesions. A bi-temporal breast MRI protocol was used. This protocol produces five regular, high spatial-resolution T1-weighted acquisitions interleaved with a series of 20 ultrafast view-sharing acquisitions during contrast agent uptake. We measure and compare the performances of morphological and kinetic features derived from both the regular DCE-MRI sequence and the ultrafast view-sharing sequence with four different classifiers. The classification performance of kinetics derived from the short (100~s) ultrafast acquisition starting with contrast agent administration, is significantly higher than the performance of kinetics derived from a much lengthier (510~s), commonly used 3D gradient echo acquisition. When combined with morphology information all classifiers show a higher performance for the ultrafast acquisition (two out of four results are significantly better