Comparison of volumetric breast density estimations from mammography and thorax CT

Abstract :

Breast density has become an important issue in current breast cancer screening, both as a recognized risk factor for breast cancer and by decreasing screening efficiency by the masking effect. Different qualitative and quantitative methods have been proposed to evaluate area-based breast density and volumetric breast density (VBD). We propose a validation method comparing the computation of VBD obtained from digital mammographic images (VBDMX) with the computation of VBD from thorax CT images (VBDCT ). We computed VBDMX by applying a conversion function to the pixel values in the mammographic images, based on models determined from images of breast equivalent material. VBDCT is computed from the average Hounsfield Unit (HU) over the manually delineated breast volume in the CT images. This average HU is then compared to the HU of adipose and fibroglandular tissues from patient images. The VBDMX method was applied to 663 mammographic patient images taken on two Siemens Inspiration (hospL) and one GE Senographe 23 Essential (hospJ ). For the comparison study, we collected images from patients who had a thorax CT and a mammography screening exam within the same year. In total, thorax CT images corresponding to 40 breasts (hospL) and 47 breasts (hospJ ) were retrieved. Averaged over the 663 mammographic images the median VBDMX was 14.7%. The density distribution and the inverse correlation between VBDMX and breast thickness were found as expected. The average difference between VBDMX and VBDCT is smaller for hospJ (4%) than for hospL (10%). This study shows the possibility to compare VBDMX with the VBD from thorax CT exams, without additional examinations. In spite of the limitations caused by poorly defined breast limits, the calibration of mammographic images to local VBD provides opportunities for further quantitative evaluations.

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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Friday, September 13, 2019 - 4:19:23 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 12:37:00 PM

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N. Geeraert, Rémy Klausz, Lesley Cockmartin, S. Muller, Isabelle Bloch, et al.. Comparison of volumetric breast density estimations from mammography and thorax CT. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2014, 59, pp.4391-4409. ⟨hal-02286891⟩

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