By Erik L. Ridley, staff writer
    November 7, 2012

    Tuesday, November 27 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSJ22-06 | Room S403B
    This scientific paper presentation will describe how a content-based image retrieval technique shows potential for assisting radiologists in diagnosing breast cancer on breast ultrasound studies.

    With the hope of ultimately providing radiologists with a "pictorial" tool to aid in breast cancer diagnosis, the researchers investigated an image retrieval method based on mathematical lesion descriptors and similarity metrics. They hoped to determine whether the method could retrieve images of the correct pathology -- i.e., of the same pathology as an unknown case -- from a reference dataset of more than 1,200 sonographically imaged breast lesions, said presenter Karen Drukker, PhD, from the University of Chicago.

    With the exception of an initial manual indication of the abnormalities' location in the images, the method was completely automated, Drukker said. To evaluate performance, a malignancy score was assigned to each new finding based on the fraction of retrieved images that represented breast cancer.

    "Results were very promising, and within the statistical power of this study, our content-based image retrieval method was able to distinguish between cancerous and benign breast lesions as well as a conventional neural network classifier," Drukker said. "A key implication of this work is that it may be feasible to develop a diagnostically useful [content-based image retrieval] method, which would be effective and efficient for radiologists to incorporate with more confidence into their interpretation and diagnostic decision-making than just numerical output from a 'black box' classifier."

    Future investigations will address the visual similarity of retrieved images to those of an unknown finding and assess the potential impact on clinical decision-making, Drukker said.

    Last Updated np 11/5/2012 4:34:14 PM