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In Visual computing for industry, biomedicine, and art

Presence of higher breast density (BD) and persistence over time are risk factors for breast cancer. A quantitatively accurate and highly reproducible BD measure that relies on precise and reproducible whole-breast segmentation is desirable. In this study, we aimed to develop a highly reproducible and accurate whole-breast segmentation algorithm for the generation of reproducible BD measures. Three datasets of volunteers from two clinical trials were included. Breast MR images were acquired on 3 T Siemens Biograph mMR, Prisma, and Skyra using 3D Cartesian six-echo GRE sequences with a fat-water separation technique. Two whole-breast segmentation strategies, utilizing image registration and 3D U-Net, were developed. Manual segmentation was performed. A task-based analysis was performed: a previously developed MR-based BD measure, MagDensity, was calculated and assessed using automated and manual segmentation. The mean squared error (MSE) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between MagDensity were evaluated using the manual segmentation as a reference. The test-retest reproducibility of MagDensity derived from different breast segmentation methods was assessed using the difference between the test and retest measures (Δ2-1), MSE, and ICC. The results showed that MagDensity derived by the registration and deep learning segmentation methods exhibited high concordance with manual segmentation, with ICCs of 0.986 (95%CI: 0.974-0.993) and 0.983 (95%CI: 0.961-0.992), respectively. For test-retest analysis, MagDensity derived using the registration algorithm achieved the smallest MSE of 0.370 and highest ICC of 0.993 (95%CI: 0.982-0.997) when compared to other segmentation methods. In conclusion, the proposed registration and deep learning whole-breast segmentation methods are accurate and reliable for estimating BD. Both methods outperformed a previously developed algorithm and manual segmentation in the test-retest assessment, with the registration exhibiting superior performance for highly reproducible BD measurements.

Ying Jia, Cattell Renee, Zhao Tianyun, Lei Lan, Jiang Zhao, Hussain Shahid M, Gao Yi, Chow H-H Sherry, Stopeck Alison T, Thompson Patricia A, Huang Chuan


Breast cancer, Breast density, Breast segmentation, Deep learning, Image registration