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A novel image toggle tool for comparison of serial mammograms: automatic density normalization and alignment—development of the tool and initial experience

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to develop a new image toggle tool with automatic density normalization (ADN) and automatic alignment (AA) for comparing serial digital mammograms (DMGs).

Materials and methods

We developed an ADN and AA process to compare the images of serial DMGs. In image density normalization, a linear interpolation was applied by taking two points of high- and low-brightness areas. The alignment was calculated by determining the point of the greatest correlation while shifting the alignment between the current and prior images. These processes were performed on a PC with a 3.20-GHz Xeon processor and 8 GB of main memory. We selected 12 suspected breast cancer patients who had undergone screening DMGs in the past. Automatic processing was retrospectively performed on these images. Two radiologists subjectively evaluated them.

Results

The process of the developed algorithm took approximately 1 s per image. In our preliminary experience, two images could not be aligned approximately. When they were aligned, image toggling allowed detection of differences between examinations easily.

Conclusions

We developed a new tool to facilitate comparative reading of DMGs on a mammography viewing system. Using this tool for toggling comparisons might improve the interpretation efficiency of serial DMGs.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Isam Ohashi, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, whose comments and suggestions were of inestimable value for our study. We are indebted to Jay Starkey, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, who aided us in writing the manuscript in English.

Conflict of interest

Wataru Fukuda is an employee of Fujifilm Corp. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information

Correspondence to Satoshi Honda.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary Material 1 Movie: Image toggling on a mammography viewer. Comparison images are displayed interchangeably at the same position on the monitor. It is easier to perform detailed comparisons. In this example, interpretation images and the post-processeed reference images are displayed alternately (MPG 250 kb)

Supplementary Material 1 Movie: Image toggling on a mammography viewer. Comparison images are displayed interchangeably at the same position on the monitor. It is easier to perform detailed comparisons. In this example, interpretation images and the post-processeed reference images are displayed alternately (MPG 250 kb)

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Honda, S., Tsunoda, H., Fukuda, W. et al. A novel image toggle tool for comparison of serial mammograms: automatic density normalization and alignment—development of the tool and initial experience. Jpn J Radiol 32, 725–731 (2014) doi:10.1007/s11604-014-0362-5

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Keywords

  • Digital mammography
  • Soft copy reading
  • Serial comparison
  • Image processing