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Med Phys. 2002 Sep;29(9):2090-100.

Development and evaluation of a case-based reasoning classifier for prediction of breast biopsy outcome with BI-RADS lexicon.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Approximately 70-85% of breast biopsies are performed on benign lesions. To reduce this high number of biopsies performed on benign lesions, a case-based reasoning (CBR) classifier was developed to predict biopsy results from BI-RADS findings. We used 1433 (931 benign) biopsy-proven mammographic cases. CBR similarity was defined using either the Hamming or Euclidean distance measure over case features. Ten features represented each case: calcification distribution, calcification morphology, calcification number, mass margin, mass shape, mass density, mass size, associated findings, special cases, and age. Performance was evaluated using Round Robin sampling, Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis, and bootstrap. To determine the most influential features for the CBR, an exhaustive feature search was performed over all possible feature combinations (1022) and similarity thresholds. Influential features were defined as the most frequently occurring features in the feature subsets with the highest partial ROC areas (0.90AUC). For CBR with Hamming distance, the most influential features were found to be mass margin, calcification morphology, age, calcification distribution, calcification number, and mass shape, resulting in an 0.90AUC of 0.33. At 95% sensitivity, the Hamming CBR would spare from biopsy 34% of the benign lesions. At 98% sensitivity, the Hamming CBR would spare 27% benign lesions. For the CBR with Euclidean distance, the most influential feature subset consisted of mass margin, calcification morphology, age, mass density, and associated findings, resulting in 0.90AUC of 0.37. At 95% sensitivity, the Euclidean CBR would spare from biopsy 41% benign lesions. At 98% sensitivity, the Euclidean CBR would spare 27% benign lesions. The profile of cases spared by both distance measures at 98% sensitivity indicates that the CBR is a potentially useful diagnostic tool for the classification of mammographic lesions, by recommending short-term follow-up for likely benign lesions that is in agreement with final biopsy results and mammographer's intuition.

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