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A review of ultrasound detection methods for breast microcalcification

Yali Ouyang Zhuhuang Zhou Weiwei Wu Jin Tian Feng Xu Shuicai Wu Po-Hsiang Tsui

*Corresponding author: Shuicai Wu wushuicai@bjut.edu.cn


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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