Correlating locations in ipsilateral breast tomosynthesis views using an analytical hemispherical compression model

G. van Schie, C. Tanner, P. Snoeren, M. Samulski, K. Leifland, M. Wallis and N. Karssemeijer

Physics in Medicine and Biology 2011;56(15):4715-4730.

DOI PMID Cited by ~20

To improve cancer detection in mammography, breast examinations usually consist of two views per breast. In order to combine information from both views, corresponding regions in the views need to be matched. In 3D digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), this may be a difficult and time-consuming task for radiologists, because many slices have to be inspected individually. For multiview computer-aided detection (CAD) systems, matching corresponding regions is an essential step that needs to be automated. In this study, we developed an automatic method to quickly estimate corresponding locations in ipsilateral tomosynthesis views by applying a spatial transformation. First we match a model of a compressed breast to the tomosynthesis view containing a point of interest. Then we estimate the location of the corresponding point in the ipsilateral view by assuming that this model was decompressed, rotated and compressed again. In this study, we use a relatively simple, elastically deformable sphere model to obtain an analytical solution for the transformation in a given DBT case. We investigate three different methods to match the compression model to the data by using automatic segmentation of the pectoral muscle, breast tissue and nipple. For validation, we annotated 208 landmarks in both views of a total of 146 imaged breasts of 109 different patients and applied our method to each location. The best results are obtained by using the centre of gravity of the breast to define the central axis of the model, around which the breast is assumed to rotate between views. Results show a median 3D distance between the actual location and the estimated location of 14.6 mm, a good starting point for a registration method or a feature-based local search method to link suspicious regions in a multiview CAD system. Approximately half of the estimated locations are at most one slice away from the actual location, which makes the method useful as a mammographic workstation tool for radiologists to interactively find corresponding locations in ipsilateral tomosynthesis views.