Computer-aided diagnosis of peripheral soft tissue masses based on ultrasound imaging

Hong Jen Chiou, Chih Yen Chen, Tzu Chiang Liu, See Ying Chiou, Hsin Kai Wang, Yi Hong Chou, Huihua Kenny Chiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Medical ultrasound (US) has been widely used for distinguishing benign from malignant peripheral soft tissue tumors. However, diagnosis by US is subjective and depends on the experience of the radiologists. The rarity of peripheral soft tissue tumors can make them easily neglected and this frequently leads to delayed diagnosis, which results in a much higher death rate than with other tumors. In this paper, we developed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system to diagnose peripheral soft tissue masses on US images. We retrospectively evaluated 49 cases of pathologically proven peripheral soft tissue masses (32 benign, 17 malignant). The proposed CAD system includes three main procedures: image pre-processing and region-of-interest (ROI) segmentation, feature extraction and statistics-based discriminant analysis (DA). We developed a depth-normalization factor (DNF) to compensate for the influence of the depth setting on the apparent size of the ROI. After image pre-processing and normalization, five features, namely area (A), boundary transition ratio (T), circularity (C), high intensity spots (H) and uniformity (U), were extracted from the US images. A DA function was then employed to analyze these features. A CAD algorithm was then devised for differentiating benign from malignant masses. The CAD system achieved an accuracy of 87.8%, a sensitivity of 88.2%, a specificity of 87.5%, a positive predictive value (PPV) 78.9% and a negative predictive value (NPV) 93.3%. These results indicate that the CAD system is valuable as a means of providing a second diagnostic opinion when radiologists carry out peripheral soft tissue mass diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalComputerized Medical Imaging and Graphics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD)
  • Discriminant analysis
  • Peripheral soft tissue mass
  • Ultrasound


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