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A simple method for automatically locating the nipple on mammograms

Chandrasekhar, R. and Attikiouzel, Y. (1997) A simple method for automatically locating the nipple on mammograms. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 16 (5). pp. 483-494.

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This paper outlines a simple, fast, and accurate method for automatically locating the nipple on digitized mammograms that have been segmented to reveal the skin-air interface. If the average gradient of the intensity is computed in the direction normal to the interface and directed inside the breast, it is found that there is a sudden and distinct change in this parameter close to the nipple. A nipple in profile is located between two successive maxima of this parameter; otherwise, it is near the global maximum. Specifically, the nipple is located midway between a successive maximum and minimum of the derivative of the average intensity gradient; these being local turning points for a nipple in profile and global otherwise. The method has been tested on 24 images, including both oblique and cranio-caudal views, from two digital mammogram databases. For 23 of the images (96%), the rms error was less than 1 mm at image resolutions of 400 μm and 420 μm per pixel. Because of its simplicity, and because it is based both on the observed behavior of mammographic tissue intensities and on geometry, this method has the potential to become a generic method for locating the nipple on mammograms.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IEEE
Copyright: © 1997 IEEE
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