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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 235380, 11 pages
Research Article

Using X-Ray Mammograms to Assist in Microwave Breast Image Interpretation

1Department of Electrical and Computer, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
2Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9

Received 29 September 2011; Accepted 28 December 2011

Academic Editor: Paul Meaney

Copyright © 2012 Charlotte Curtis 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.


Current clinical breast imaging modalities include ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and the ubiquitous X-ray mammography. Microwave imaging, which takes advantage of differing electromagnetic properties to obtain image contrast, shows potential as a complementary imaging technique. As an emerging modality, interpretation of 3D microwave images poses a significant challenge. MR images are often used to assist in this task, and X-ray mammograms are readily available. However, X-ray mammograms provide 2D images of a breast under compression, resulting in significant geometric distortion. This paper presents a method to estimate the 3D shape of the breast and locations of regions of interest from standard clinical mammograms. The technique was developed using MR images as the reference 3D shape with the future intention of using microwave images. Twelve breast shapes were estimated and compared to ground truth MR images, resulting in a skin surface estimation accurate to within an average Euclidean distance of 10 mm. The 3D locations of regions of interest were estimated to be within the same clinical area of the breast as corresponding regions seen on MR imaging. These results encourage investigation into the use of mammography as a source of information to assist with microwave image interpretation as well as validation of microwave imaging techniques.