Classification of breast cancer in ultrasound imaging using a generic deep learning analysis software: a pilot study.
Becker Anton S,Mueller Michael,Stoffel Elina,Marcon Magda,Ghafoor Soleen,Boss Andreas
The British journal of radiology
OBJECTIVE:To train a generic deep learning software (DLS) to classify breast cancer on ultrasound images and to compare its performance to human readers with variable breast imaging experience. METHODS:In this retrospective study, all breast ultrasound examinations from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 at our institution were reviewed. Patients with post-surgical scars, initially indeterminate, or malignant lesions with histological diagnoses or 2-year follow-up were included. The DLS was trained with 70% of the images, and the remaining 30% were used to validate the performance. Three readers with variable expertise also evaluated the validation set (radiologist, resident, medical student). Diagnostic accuracy was assessed with a receiver operating characteristic analysis. RESULTS:82 patients with malignant and 550 with benign lesions were included. Time needed for training was 7 min (DLS). Evaluation time for the test data set were 3.7 s (DLS) and 28, 22 and 25 min for human readers (decreasing experience). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed non-significant differences (p-values 0.45-0.47) in the area under the curve of 0.84 (DLS), 0.88 (experienced and intermediate readers) and 0.79 (inexperienced reader). CONCLUSION:DLS may aid diagnosing cancer on breast ultrasound images with an accuracy comparable to radiologists, and learns better and faster than a human reader with no prior experience. Further clinical trials with dedicated algorithms are warranted. Advances in knowledge: DLS can be trained classify cancer on breast ultrasound images high accuracy even with comparably few training cases. The fast evaluation speed makes real-time image analysis feasible.