Quantitative Biomarkers for Cancer Detection Using Contrast-Free Ultrasound High-Definition Microvessel Imaging: Fractal Dimension, Murray's Deviation, Bifurcation Angle Spatial Vascularity Pattern

Redouane Ternifi, Yinong Wang, Eric C. Polley, Robert T. Fazzio, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of evidence indicates that there is a strong correlation between microvascular morphological features and malignant tumors. Therefore, quantification of these features might allow more accurate differentiation of benign and malignant tumors. The main objective of this research project is to improve the quantification of microvascular networks depicted in contrast-free ultrasound microvessel images. To achieve this goal, a new series of quantitative microvessel morphological parameters are introduced for differentiation of breast masses using contrast-free ultrasound-based high-definition microvessel imaging (HDMI). Using HDMI, we quantified and analyzed four new parameters: 1) microvessel fractal dimension (mvFD), a marker of tumor microvascular complexity; 2) Murray's deviation (MD), the diameter mismatch, defined as the deviation from Murray's law; 3) bifurcation angle (BA), abnormally decreased angle; and 4) spatial vascular pattern (SVP), indicating tumor vascular distribution pattern, either intratumoral or peritumoral. The new biomarkers have been tested on 60 patients with breast masses. Validation of the feature's extraction algorithm was performed using a synthetic data set. All the proposed parameters had the power to discriminate the breast lesion malignancy (p < 0.05), displaying BA as the most sensitive test, with a sensitivity of 90.6%, and mvFD as the most specific test, with a specificity of 92%. The results of all four new biomarkers showed an AUC = 0.889, sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 91.4% In conclusion, the added value of the proposed quantitative morphological parameters, as new biomarkers of angiogenesis within breast masses, paves the way for more accurate breast cancer detection with higher specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3891-3900
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Volume40
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Keywords

  • Bifurcation angle
  • contrast-free ultrasound microvessel imaging
  • microvessel fractal dimension
  • Murray's deviation
  • spatial vascular pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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