Computational Breast Anatomy Simulation Using Multi-Scale Perlin Noise

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2021 Dec;40(12):3436-3445. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2021.3087958. Epub 2021 Nov 30.


Virtual clinical trials (VCTs) of medical imaging require realistic models of human anatomy. For VCTs in breast imaging, a multi-scale Perlin noise method is proposed to simulate anatomical structures of breast tissue in the context of an ongoing breast phantom development effort. Four Perlin noise distributions were used to replace voxels representing the tissue compartments and Cooper's ligaments in the breast phantoms. Digital mammography and tomosynthesis projections were simulated using a clinical DBT system configuration. Power-spectrum analyses and higher-order statistics properties using Laplacian fractional entropy (LFE) of the parenchymal texture are presented. These objective measures were calculated in phantom and patient images using a sample of 140 clinical mammograms and 500 phantom images. Power-law exponents were calculated using the slope of the curve fitted in the low frequency [0.1, 1.0] mm-1 region of the power spectrum. The results show that the images simulated with our prior and proposed Perlin method have similar power-law spectra when compared with clinical mammograms. The power-law exponents calculated are -3.10, -3.55, and -3.46, for the log-power spectra of patient, prior phantom and proposed phantom images, respectively. The results also indicate an improved agreement between the mean LFE estimates of Perlin-noise based phantoms and patients than our prior phantoms and patients. Thus, the proposed method improved the simulation of anatomic noise substantially compared to our prior method, showing close agreement with breast parenchyma measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breast* / diagnostic imaging
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • User-Computer Interface