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Fully automated nipple detection in 3D breast ultrasound images

: Wang, L.; Böhler, T.; Zöhrer, F.; Georgii, J.; Rauh, C.; Fasching, P.A.; Brehm, B.; Schulz-Wendtland, R.; Beckmann, M.W.; Uder, M.; Hahn, H.K.


Fujita, H.:
Breast imaging. 12th international workshop, IWDM 2014 : Gifu City, Japan, June 29 - July 2, 2014; Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8539)
ISBN: 978-3-319-07886-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-07887-8 (Online)
International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWDM) <12, 2014, Gifu City>
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Nipple position provides useful diagnostic informations in reading automated 3D breast ultrasound (ABUS) images. The identification of nipples is required to localize and determine the quadrants of breast lesions. Additionally, the nipple position serves as an effective landmark to register an ABUS image to other imaging modalities, such as digital mammography, breast magnet resonance imaging (MRI), or tomosynthesis. Nevertheless, the presence of speckle noise induced by interference waves and variant imaging directions in ultrasonography poses challenges to the task. In this work, we propose a fast and automated algorithm to detect nipples in 3D breast ultrasound images. The method fully takes advantages of the consistent characteristics of ultrasonographic signals observed at nipples and employs a multi-scale Laplacian-based blob detector to eventually identify nipple positions. The accuracy of the proposed method was tested on 113 ABUS images, resulting in a distance error of 6.6±8.9 mm (mean ±std).