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Breast segmentation in MRI: Quantitative evaluation of three methods

: Gubern-Mérida, A.; Wang, L.; Kallenberg, M.; Martí, R.; Hahn, H.K.; Karssemeijer, N.


Ourselin, S. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Medical Imaging 2013. Image Processing. Vol.2 : 10 - 12 February 2013, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2013 (Proceedings of SPIE 8669)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9443-6
Paper 86693G
Conference "Medical Imaging - Image Processing" <2013, Lake Buena Vista/Fla.>
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

A precise segmentation of breast tissue is often required for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) of breast MRI. Only a few methods have been proposed to automatically segment breast in MRI. Authors reported satisfactory performance, but a fair comparison has not been done yet as all breast segmentation methods were evaluated on their own data sets with different manual annotations. Moreover, breast volume overlap measures, which were commonly used for evaluations, do not seem to be adequate to accurately quantify the segmentation qualities. Breast volume overlap measures are not sensitive to small errors, such as local misalignments, because the breast appears to be much larger than other structures. In this work, two atlas-based approaches and a breast segmentation method based on Hessian sheetness filter are exhaustively evaluated and benchmarked on a data set of 52 manually annotated breast MR images. Three quantitative measures including dense tissue error, pectoral muscle error and pectoral surface distance are defined to objectively reflect the practical use of breast segmentation in CAD methods. The evaluation measures provide important evidence to conclude that the three evaluated techniques perform accurate breast segmentations. More specifically, the atlas-based methods appear to be more precise, but require larger computation time than the sheetness-based breast segmentation approach.