Computer-aided detection of cancer in automated 3-D breast ultrasound

Tao Tan, Bram Platel, Roel Mus, Laszlo Tabar, Ritse M. Mann, Nico Karssemeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Automated 3-D breast ultrasound (ABUS) has gained a lot of interest and may become widely used in screening of dense breasts, where sensitivity of mammography is poor. However, reading ABUS images is time consuming, and subtle abnormalities may be missed. Therefore, we are developing a computer aided detection (CAD) system to help reduce reading time and prevent errors. In the multi-stage system we propose, segmentations of the breast, the nipple and the chestwall are performed, providing landmarks for the detection algorithm. Subsequently, voxel features characterizing coronal spiculation patterns, blobness, contrast, and depth are extracted. Using an ensemble of neural-network classifiers, a likelihood map indicating potential abnormality is computed. Local maxima in the likelihood map are determined and form a set of candidates in each image. These candidates are further processed in a second detection stage, which includes region segmentation, feature extraction and a final classification. On region level, classification experiments were performed using different classifiers including an ensemble of neural networks, a support vector machine, a k-nearest neighbors, a linear discriminant, and a gentle boost classifier. Performance was determined using a dataset of 238 patients with 348 images (views), including 169 malignant and 154 benign lesions. Using free response receiver operating characteristic (FROC) analysis, the system obtains a view-based sensitivity of 64% at 1 false positives per image using an ensemble of neural-network classifiers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6516930
Pages (from-to)1698-1706
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Automated 3-D breast ultrasound
  • breast cancer
  • computer-aided detection
  • region segmentation


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