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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 213794, 10 pages
Research Article

Study of the Effect of Breast Tissue Density on Detection of Masses in Mammograms

Pattern Classification and Image Analysis Group, University of Extremadura, Avenida de Elvas s/n, Badajoz, 06006 Extremadura, Spain

Received 4 October 2012; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Angel García-Crespo

Copyright © 2013 A. García-Manso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


One of the parameters that are usually stored for mammograms is the BI-RADS density, which gives an idea of the breast tissue composition. In this work, we study the effect of BI-RADS density in our ongoing project for developing an image-based CAD system to detect masses in mammograms. This system consists of two stages. First, a blind feature extraction is performed for regions of interest (ROIs), using Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Next, in the second stage, those features form the input vectors to a classifier, neural network, or SVM classifier. To train and test our system, the Digital Database for Screening Mammography (DDSM) was used. The results obtained show that the maximum variation in the performance of our system considering only prototypes obtained from mammograms with a concrete value of density (both for training and test) is about 7%, yielding the best values for density equal to 1, and the worst for density equal to 4, for both classifiers. Finally, with the overall results (i.e., using prototypes from mammograms with all the possible values of densities), we obtained a difference in performance that is only 2% lower than the maximum, also for both classifiers.