Density correction of peripheral breast tissue on digital mammograms

Radiographics. 1996 Nov;16(6):1403-11. doi: 10.1148/radiographics.16.6.8946544.


When digital mammograms are viewed on video displays, evaluation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue is often difficult and may require special window settings. An algorithm has been developed for selective enhancement (ie, density correction) of the dark peripheral portions of the breast on mammograms. After an automated segmentation of the digital mammogram and identification of the skin line, a fitted enhancement curve is generated to selectively enhance all pixels within a certain distance from the skin to match the density of the center part of the breast. After enhancement, skin and breast parenchyma can be evaluated simultaneously without the need for different window settings. When tested on a set of 400 digitized mammograms, the density correction algorithm significantly (P < .0001) increased the maximum area of breast tissue visualized simultaneously at window width settings of 0.5-2.0 delta OD (optical density). Artifacts interfering with interpretation were observed in less than 1%. The algorithm for correcting the density of peripheral breast tissue substantially facilitates and improves the display of digital mammograms and thus will be a valuable component of an integrated workstation for computer-aided diagnosis in mammography.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / methods
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted