Journal of Digital Imaging

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 562–580 | Cite as

Computer-Aided Identification of the Pectoral Muscle in Digitized Mammograms

  • K. Santle Camilus
  • V. K. Govindan
  • P. S. Sathidevi


Mammograms are X-ray images of human breast which are normally used to detect breast cancer. The presence of pectoral muscle in mammograms may disturb the detection of breast cancer as the pectoral muscle and mammographic parenchyma appear similar. So, the suppression or exclusion of the pectoral muscle from the mammograms is demanded for computer-aided analysis which requires the identification of the pectoral muscle. The main objective of this study is to propose an automated method to efficiently identify the pectoral muscle in medio-lateral oblique-view mammograms. This method uses a proposed graph cut-based image segmentation technique for identifying the pectoral muscle edge. The identified pectoral muscle edge is found to be ragged. Hence, the pectoral muscle is smoothly represented using Bezier curve which uses the control points obtained from the pectoral muscle edge. The proposed work was tested on a public dataset of medio-lateral oblique-view mammograms obtained from mammographic image analysis society database, and its performance was compared with the state-of-the-art methods reported in the literature. The mean false positive and false negative rates of the proposed method over randomly chosen 84 mammograms were calculated, respectively, as 0.64% and 5.58%. Also, with respect to the number of results with small error, the proposed method out performs existing methods. These results indicate that the proposed method can be used to accurately identify the pectoral muscle on medio-lateral oblique view mammograms.

Key words

Mammography pectoral muscle segmentation computer-aided diagnosis biomedical image analysis 



The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their important corrections and suggestions that have been included in the text. The authors would like to thank Rangayyan RM for providing a set of mammograms with radiologist drawn pectoral muscle boundaries. The authors would also like to thank Vimal SP, of BITS Pilani, for the useful discussions with him.


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Santle Camilus
    • 1
  • V. K. Govindan
    • 1
  • P. S. Sathidevi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringNational Institute of Technology CalicutCalicutIndia
  2. 2.Department of Electronics and Communication EngineeringNational Institute of Technology CalicutCalicutIndia

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