Original InvestigationRobustness of Computerized Identification of Masses in Digitized Mammograms A Preliminary AssessmentCHANG, YUAN-HSIANG MS; ZHENG, BIN PHD; GUR, DAVID SCDAuthor Information From the Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reprint requests: Yuan-Hsiang Chang, MS, A466 Scaife Hall, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261. Received March 22, 1996, and accepted for publication, after revision, May 24, 1996. Investigative Radiology: September 1996 - Volume 31 - Issue 9 - p 563-568 Buy Abstract RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES The authors assess the robustness of a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) scheme with five rule-based stages to identify regions suspicious for mass in digitized mammograms. METHODS With a database of 428 mammograms, 234 of which had not been analyzed by this scheme before, the authors evaluated the performance robustness of their CAD scheme. The following four issues were investigated to assess the variability of the scheme's performance due to: (1) the maximum permissible number of “masses” detected at each stage; (2) exclusion of selected individual rule-based stages; (3) added image noise; and (4) repeated digitizations of the same image. RESULTS Enabling the CAD scheme to select a maximum of two suspicious mass regions at any one stage increased sensitivity by as much as 4% (from 93% to 97%), but it increased the false-positive detection rate by as much as 1.2 per image (from 1.7 to 2.9). Eliminating any individual stage decreased sensitivity by as much as 6%, but this reduced the false-positive detection rate by as much as 0.4 per image (from 1.7 to 1.3). The addition of reasonable noise levels decreased sensitivity by as much as 4% without substantially affecting the false-positive detections. Repeated digitizations of selected images demonstrated a scheme sensitivity of 93% ± 1.8% with more than a 90% overlap of the false-positive regions. CONCLUSIONS The results of this preliminary study clearly indicate that this scheme is reasonably robust to the variables investigated here. Copyright © 1996 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.