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A TWO-STEP SEGMENTATION METHOD FOR BREAST ULTRASOUND MASSES BASED ON MULTI-RESOLUTION ANALYSIS

Rodrigues, R. R. ; Braz, R. ; Sousa, M. ; Pinheiro, A.

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology Vol. 1, Nº 1, pp. 1 - 12, January, 2015.

ISSN (print): 0301-5629
ISSN (online): 0301-5629

Journal Impact Factor: 2,395 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.01.012

Abstract
Breast ultrasound images have several attractive properties that make them an interesting tool in breast cancer detection. However, their intrinsic high noise rate and low contrast turn mass detection and segmen- tation into a challenging task. In this article, a fully automated two-stage breast mass segmentation approach is proposed. In the initial stage, ultrasound images are segmented using support vector machine or discriminant analysis pixel classification with a multiresolution pixel descriptor. The features are extracted using non-linear diffusion, bandpass filtering and scale-variant mean curvature measures. A set of heuristic rules complement the initial segmentation stage, selecting the region of interest in a fully automated manner. In the second segmen- tation stage, refined segmentation of the area retrieved in the first stage is attempted, using two different tech- niques. The AdaBoost algorithm uses a descriptor based on scale-variant curvature measures and non-linear diffusion of the original image at lower scales, to improve the spatial accuracy of the ROI. Active contours use the segmentation results from the first stage as initial contours. Results for both proposed segmentation paths were promising, with normalized Dice similarity coefficients of 0.824 for AdaBoost and 0.813 for active contours. Recall rates were 79.6% for AdaBoost and 77.8% for active contours, whereas the precision rate was 89.3% for both methods.