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A review of ultrasound detection methods for breast microcalcification

1 College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
2 College of Biomedical Engineering, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100054, China
3 Department of Medical Engineering, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
4 Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
5 Medical Imaging Research Center, Institute for Radiological Research, Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
6 Department of Medical Imaging and Intervention, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan

Special Issues: Advanced Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

Breast microcalcifications are one of the important imaging features of early breast cancer and are a key to early breast cancer diagnosis. Ultrasound imaging has been widely used in the detection and diagnosis of breast diseases because of its low cost, nonionizing radiation, and real-time capability. However, due to factors such as limited spatial resolution and speckle noise, it is difficult to detect breast microcalcifications using conventional B-mode ultrasound imaging. Recent studies show that new ultrasound technologies improved the visualization of microcalcifications over conventional B-mode ultrasound imaging. In this paper, a review of the literature on the ultrasonic detection methods of microcalcifications was conducted. The reviewed methods were broadly divided into high-frequency B-mode ultrasound imaging techniques, B-mode ultrasound image processing techniques, ultrasound elastography techniques, time reversal techniques, high spatial frequency techniques, second-order ultrasound field imaging techniques, and photoacoustic imaging techniques. The related principles and research status of these methods were introduced, and the characteristics and limitations of the various methods were discussed and analyzed. Future developments of ultrasonic breast microcalcification detection are suggested.
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