Rationale and Objectives. To exploit the spectral phase characteristics of digital or digitized mammograms for early detection of microcalcifications, shape, and sizes of suspected lesions and to demonstrate its use for training radiologists to discriminate signal features in different spatially varying backgrounds. Materials and Methods. We propose two algorithms: in the phase-only image (POI) reconstruction algorithm the spectral phase of the digital mammogram is extracted from its Fourier spectrum. This is coupled with unit magnitude and inverse Fourier transformed to reconstruct the POI thus enhancing the features of interest such as microcalcifications, shape, and sizes of suspected lesions. In the algorithm for image reconstruction from a priori phase-only information, spectral phase is used to extract signal features of the digital mammogram and then this is combined with spectral magnitude that is extracted and averaged over an ensemble of unrelated digital mammograms. Results. The results for several digital phantoms and mammograms show that POI reconstructs only high spatial frequencies related to the features such as microcalcifications, shape, and size of masses like cysts and tumors. The results on image reconstruction from a priori phase-only information demonstrate the changes in the visibility of signal features when buried in a wide variety of real world mammogram backgrounds with different densities. Conclusion. The POI can aid radiologists in early detection of microcalcifications, lesions, and other masses of interest in digital mammograms. This reconstruction method is self-adaptive to changes in the background. The image reconstruction from a priori phase-only information can help the radiologist as a training tool in his decision-making process. Preliminary experiments indicate the potential of the techniques for early diagnosis of breast cancer. Clinical studies on these algorithm procedures are in progress for application as a diagnostic CAD tool in digital mammography. These methods can in general be applied to other medical images such as CT and MRI images.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging