Automated palpation for breast tissue discrimination based on viscoelastic biomechanical properties

Mariko Tsukune, Yo Kobayashi, Tomoyuki Miyashita, G. Masakatsu Fujie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose : Accurate, noninvasive methods are sought for breast tumor detection and diagnosis. In particular, a need for noninvasive techniques that measure both the nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic properties of breast tissue has been identified. For diagnostic purposes, it is important to select a nonlinear viscoelastic model with a small number of parameters that highly correlate with histological structure. However, the combination of conventional viscoelastic models with nonlinear elastic models requires a large number of parameters. A nonlinear viscoelastic model of breast tissue based on a simple equation with few parameters was developed and tested. Methods : The nonlinear viscoelastic properties of soft tissues in porcine breast were measured experimentally using fresh ex vivo samples. Robotic palpation was used for measurements employed in a finite element model. These measurements were used to calculate nonlinear viscoelastic parameters for fat, fibroglandular breast parenchyma and muscle. The ability of these parameters to distinguish the tissue types was evaluated in a two-step statistical analysis that included Holm’s pairwise $$t$$t test. The discrimination error rate of a set of parameters was evaluated by the Mahalanobis distance. Results : Ex vivo testing in porcine breast revealed significant differences in the nonlinear viscoelastic parameters among combinations of three tissue types. The discrimination error rate was low among all tested combinations of three tissue types. Conclusion : Although tissue discrimination was not achieved using only a single nonlinear viscoelastic parameter, a set of four nonlinear viscoelastic parameters were able to reliably and accurately discriminate fat, breast fibroglandular tissue and muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1

Keywords

  • Breast tumor diagnosis
  • Creep test
  • Dynamic viscoelastic test
  • Nonlinear viscoelastic parameter
  • Palpation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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