A robust graph-based segmentation method for breast tumors in ultrasound images

Ultrasonics. 2012 Feb;52(2):266-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


Objectives: This paper introduces a new graph-based method for segmenting breast tumors in US images.

Background and motivation: Segmentation for breast tumors in ultrasound (US) images is crucial for computer-aided diagnosis system, but it has always been a difficult task due to the defects inherent in the US images, such as speckles and low contrast.

Methods: The proposed segmentation algorithm constructed a graph using improved neighborhood models. In addition, taking advantages of local statistics, a new pair-wise region comparison predicate that was insensitive to noises was proposed to determine the mergence of any two of adjacent subregions.

Results and conclusion: Experimental results have shown that the proposed method could improve the segmentation accuracy by 1.5-5.6% in comparison with three often used segmentation methods, and should be capable of segmenting breast tumors in US images.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary / methods*