Pectoral Muscle Detection in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis and Mammography
Screening and diagnosis of breast cancer with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) and Mammography are increasingly supported by algorithms for automatic post-processing. The pectoral muscle, which dorsally delineates the breast tissue towards the chest wall, is an important anatomical structure for navigation. Along with the nipple and the skin, the pectoral muscle boundary is often used for reporting the location of breast lesions. It is visible in mediolateral oblique (MLO) views where it is well approximated by a straight line. Here, we propose two machine learning-based algorithms to robustly detect the pectoral muscle in MLO views from DBT and mammography. Embedded into the Marginal Space Learning framework, the algorithms involve the evaluation of multiple candidate boundaries in a hierarchical manner. To this end, we propose a novel method for candidate generation using a Hough-based approach. Experiments were performed on a set of 100 DBT volumes and 95 mammograms from different clinical cases. Our novel combined approach achieves competitive accuracy and robustness. In particular, for the DBT data, we achieve significantly lower deviation angle error and mean distance error than the standard approach. The proposed algorithms run within a few seconds.
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