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Automated Delineation of Calcified Vessels in Mammography by Tracking With Uncertainty and Graphical Linking Techniques

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5 Author(s)
Cheng, J.-Z. ; Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, ROC ; Chen, C.-M. ; Cole, E.B. ; Pisano, E.D.
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As a potential biomarker for women's cardiovascular and chronic kidney diseases, breast arterial calcification (BAC) in mammography has become an emerging research topic in recent years. To provide more objective measurement for vascular structures with calcium depositions in mammography, a new computerized method is introduced in this paper to delineate the calcified vessels. Specifically, we leverage two underlying cues, namely calcification and vesselness, into a multiple seeded tracking with uncertainty scheme. This new vessel-tracking scheme generates plenty of sampling paths to describe the complicated topology of the vascular structures with calcium depositions. A compiling and linking process is further carried out to organize the sampling paths together to be the vessel segments that likely belong to the same vessel tract. The proposed method has been evaluated on 63 mammograms, by comparison with manual delineations from two experts using various assessment metrics. The experiment results confirm the efficacy and stability of the proposed method, and also indicate that the proposed method can be potentially used as a convenient BAC measurement tool in replacement of the trivial and tedious manual delineation tasks.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 11 )