" Automatic segmentation of the pectoral muscle in mediolateral oblique mammograms. "


M. Molinara, C. Marrocco, F. Tortorella


When mammograms are analyzed through a Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system the presence of the pectoral muscle can affect the results of the automatic detection of breast lesions. This problem is particularly evident in mediolateral oblique (MLO) view where the pectoral muscle appears as a high intensity region across the margin of the mammogram. An automatic identification of the pectoral muscle is an essential step because of its similar characteristics with the abnormal tissue that can interfere with the detection of suspicious regions or bias the estimation of breast tissue density. This paper presents a new approach for the detection of pectoral muscle in MLO view of the mammo-graphic images. It is based on a preprocessing step useful to normalize the image and highlight the boundary between the muscle and the mammary tissue. A subsequent step including edge detection and regression via RANSAC provides the final contour of the muscle area. The experiments performed on a standard data set show very encouraging results.

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