Proc. SPIE 8675 (2013)

Detection of breast microcalcifications with super-resolution ultrasound imaging: a clinical study

Lianjie Huang, Yassin Labyed, and Kenneth Hanson, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Daniel Sandoval, Jennifer Pohl, and Michael Williamson, Dept. Radiology, Univ. New Mexico


Imaging breast microcalcifications is crucial for early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. It is challenging for ultrasound to image breast microcalcifications. Synthetic-aperture ultrasound imaging has the potential to significantly improve ultrasound imaging. Our custom-built, real-time synthetic-aperture ultrasound system makes it possible for clinical studies of super-resolution ultrasound imaging. We recently developed a super-resolution ultrasound imaging method based on the phase-coherent multiple-signal-classification (PC-MUSIC). The method accounts for the phase response of transducer elements to improve image resolution. In this paper, we investigate the clinical feasibility of our super-resolution ultrasound imaging method for detecting breast microcalcifications. We use our synthetic-aperture ultrasound system to acquire breast ultrasound data for 40 patients whose mammograms show the presence of breast microcalcifications. We apply our super-resolution ultrasound imaging method to the patient data, and produce clear images of breast calcifications. Synthetic-aperture ultrasound with our super-resolution PC-MUSIC imaging algorithm provides a new imaging modality for detection of breast microcalcifications.

Keywords: Breast microcalcification, multiple-signal-classification, phase-coherent, super-resolution, synthetic-aperture ultrasound, ultrasound imaging
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