Objectives: We propose an automatic breast mass detection algorithm in three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound (US) images using the Hough transform technique. Methods: One hundred twenty-five cropped images containing 68 benign and 60 malignant masses are acquired with clinical diagnosis by an experienced radiologist. The 3D US images are masked, subsampled, contrast-adjusted, and median-filtered as preprocessing steps before the Hough transform is used. Thereafter, we perform 3D Hough transform to detect spherical hyperplanes in 3D US breast image volumes, generate Hough spheres, and sort them in the order of votes. In order to reduce the number of the false positives in the breast mass detection algorithm, the Hough sphere with a mean or grey level value of the centroid higher than the mean of the 3D US image is excluded, and the remaining Hough sphere is converted into a circumscribing parallelepiped cube as breast mass lesion candidates. Finally, we examine whether or not the generated Hough cubes were overlapping each other geometrically, and the resulting Hough cubes are suggested as detected breast mass candidates. Results: An automatic breast mass detection algorithm is applied with mass detection sensitivity of 96.1% at 0.84 false positives per case, quite comparable to the results in previous research, and we note that in the case of malignant breast mass detection, every malignant mass is detected with false positives per case at a rate of 0.62. Conclusions: The breast mass detection efficiency of our algorithm is assessed by performing a ROC analysis.
- Breast cancer
- Cancer early detection
- Computer assisted image analysis
- Computer-assisted diagnosis
- Ultrasonic tomography