Wavelet compression and segmentation of digital mammograms
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An initial evaluation of Haar wavelets is presented in this study for the compression of mammographic images. Fifteen mammograms with 105 microns/pixel resolution and varying dynamic range (10 and 12 bits per pixel) containing clustered microcalcifications were compressed with two different rates. The quality and content of the compressed reconstructed images was evaluated by an expert mammographer. The visualization of the cluster was on the average good but degraded with increasing compression because of the discontinuities introduced by these types of wavelets as the compression rate increases. However, the artifacts in the decoded images were seen as totally artificial and were not misinterpreted by the radiologist as calcifications. The classification of the parenchymal densities did not change significantly but the morphology of the calcifications was increasingly distorted as the compression rate increased leading to lower estimates of the suspiciousness of the cluster and higher uncertainties in the diagnosis. The uncompressed and two sets of compressed images were also processed by a wavelet method to extract the calcifications. Despite the fact that the segmentation algorithm generated several false-positive signals in highly compressed images, all true clusters were successfully segmented indicating that the compression process preserved the features of interest. Our preliminary results indicated that wavelets could be used to achieve high compression rates of mammographic images without losing small details such as microcalcification clusters as well as detect the calcifications from either the uncompressed or compressed reconstructed data. Further research and application of multiresolution analysis to digital mammography is continuing.
author list (cited authors)
Lucier, B. J., Kallergi, M., Qian, W., DeVore, R. A., Clark, R. A., Saff, E. B., & Clarke, L. P.