Characterisation of Screen Detected and Simulated Calcification Clusters in Digital Mammograms
Simulated microcalcifciation clusters have been used in studies performed to investigate the effect of different imaging conditions on cancer detection in breast screening. This work compares the characteristics of the simulated clusters to screen-detected calcification clusters. Using a database of 271 screen-detected cancers it was found that 67 (25%) presented radiographically as calcification clusters. The characteristics of 1215 microcalcifications from all 67 clusters and 304 microcalcifications from 30 simulated clusters were quantitatively analysed. The diameter of simulated calcifications were within the range of 99% of real calcifications. The cluster diameters of the simulated clusters were within the range of 70% of the real clusters. Our simulated calcifications had similar characteristics to real calcifications but were representative of smaller clusters which represent 17% of screen-detected cancers. Consequently, a significant change in detection of our simulated clusters due to change in imaging condition has a predictable impact on cancer detection in screening.
KeywordsCalcification digital mammography simulation virtual clinical trials
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