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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010;2010:4781-4. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2010.5626634.

Pectoral muscle detection in mammograms based on polar coordinates and the shortest path.

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  • 1INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.


The automatic detection and segmentation of the pectoral muscle in the medio-lateral oblique view of mammograms is essential for further analysis of breast anormalies. However, it is still a very difficult task since the sizes, shapes and intensity contrasts of pectoral muscles change greatly from image to image. In this paper, an algorithm based on the shortest path on a graph is proposed to automatically detect the pectoral muscle contour. To overcome the difficulties of searching for the path between a lateral and the top margins of the image, this is first transformed, using polar coordinates. In the transformed image, the muscle boundary in amongst the shortest paths between the top and the bottom rows. A comprehensive comparison with manually-drawn contours reveals the strength of the proposed method.

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