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Proceedings Paper

Detection of microcalcifications in mammograms using wavelets
Author(s): Robin N. Strickland; Hee Il Hahn
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Paper Abstract

Clusters of fine, granular microcalcifications in mammograms may be an early sign of disease. Individual grains are difficult to detect and segment due to size and shape variability and because the background mammogram texture is typically inhomogeneous. We present a two- stage method based on wavelet transforms for detecting and segmenting calcifications. The first stage consists of a full resolution wavelet transform, which is simply the conventional filter bank implementation without downsampling, so that all sub-bands remain at full size. Four octaves are computed with two inter-octave voices for finer scale resolution. By appropriate selection of the wavelet basis the detection of microcalcifications in the relevant size range can be nearly optimized in the details sub-bands. In fact, the separable 2D filters which transform the input image into the HH details sub-bands are closely related to pre- whitening matched filters for detecting Gaussian objects (idealized microcalcifications) in Markov noise (background noise). The second stage is designed to overcome the limitations of the simplistic Gaussian assumption and provides a useful segmentation of calcifications boundaries. Detected pixel sites in the LH, HL, and HH sub-bands are heavily weighted before computing the inverse wavelet transform. The LL component is omitted since gross spatial variations are of little interest. Individual microcalcifications are often greatly enhanced in the output image, to the point where straightforward thresholding can be applied to segment them. FROC curves are computed from tests using a well-known database of digitized mammograms. A true positive fraction of 85% is achieved at 0.5 false positives per image.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2303, Wavelet Applications in Signal and Image Processing II, (11 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188792
Show Author Affiliations
Robin N. Strickland, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Hee Il Hahn, Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2303:
Wavelet Applications in Signal and Image Processing II
Andrew F. Laine; Michael A. Unser, Editor(s)

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