Improving the performance of computer-aided detection of subtle breast masses using an adaptive cueing method

Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.76). 01/2012; 57(2):561-75. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/2/561
Source: PubMed


Current computer-aided detection (CAD) schemes for detecting mammographic masses have several limitations including high correlation with radiologists' detection and cueing most subtle masses only on one view. To increase CAD sensitivity in cueing more subtle masses that are likely missed and/or overlooked by radiologists without increasing false-positive rates, we investigated a new case-dependent cueing method by combining the original CAD-generated detection scores with a computed bilateral mammographic density asymmetry index. Using the new method, we adaptively raise the CAD-generated scores of the regions detected on 'high-risk' cases to cue more subtle mass regions and reduce the CAD scores of the regions detected on 'low-risk' cases to discard more false-positive regions. A testing dataset involving 78 positive and 338 negative cases was used to test this adaptive cueing method. Each positive case involves two sequential examinations in which the mass was detected in 'current' examination and missed in 'prior' examination but detected in a retrospective review by radiologists. Applying to this dataset, a pre-optimized CAD scheme yielded 75% case-based and 55% region-based sensitivity on 'current' examinations at a false-positive rate of 0.25 per image. CAD sensitivity was reduced to 42% (case based) and 27% (region based) on 'prior' examinations. Using the new cueing method, case-based and region-based sensitivity could maximally increase 9% and 33% on the 'prior' examinations, respectively. The percentages of the masses cued on two views also increased from 27% to 65%. The study demonstrated that using this adaptive cueing method enabled us to help CAD cue more subtle cancers without increasing the false-positive cueing rate.

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