Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 1003–1024 | Cite as

Review of recent advances in segmentation of the breast boundary and the pectoral muscle in mammograms

  • Mario Mustra
  • Mislav Grgic
  • Rangaraj M. Rangayyan
Review Article


This paper presents a review of recent advances in the development of methods for segmentation of the breast boundary and the pectoral muscle in mammograms. Regardless of improvement of imaging technology, accurate segmentation of the breast boundary and detection of the pectoral muscle are still challenging tasks for image processing algorithms. In this paper, we discuss problems related to mammographic image preprocessing and accurate segmentation. We review specific methods that were commonly used in most of the techniques proposed for segmentation of mammograms and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Comparative analysis of the methods reported on is made difficult by variations in the datasets and procedures of evaluation used by the authors. We attempt to overcome some of these limitations by trying to compare methods which used the same dataset and have some similarities in approaches to the breast boundary segmentation and detection of the pectoral muscle. In this paper, we will address the most often used methods for segmentation such as thresholding, morphology, region growing, active contours, and wavelet filtering. These methods, or their combinations, are the ones most used in the last decade by the majority of work published in this image processing domain.


Mammography Segmentation Breast boundary Pectoral muscle 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Mustra
    • 1
  • Mislav Grgic
    • 1
  • Rangaraj M. Rangayyan
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical Engineering and ComputingUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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