Local texture statistics augment the power spectrum in modeling radiographic judgments of breast density

Craig K. Abbey, Margarita L. Zuley, Jonathan D. Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Anatomical "noise"is an important limitation of full-field digital mammography. Understanding its impact on clinical judgments is made difficult by the complexity of breast parenchyma, which results in image texture not fully captured by the power spectrum. While the number of possible parameters for characterizing anatomical noise is quite large, a specific set of local texture statistics has been shown to be visually salient, and human sensitivity to these statistics corresponds to their informativeness in natural scenes. Approach: We evaluate these local texture statistics in addition to standard powerspectral measures to determine whether they have additional explanatory value for radiologists' breast density judgments. We analyzed an image database consisting of 111 disease-free mammographic screening exams (4 views each) acquired at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Each exam had a breast density score assigned by the examining radiologist. Power-spectral descriptors and local image statistics were extracted from images of breast parenchyma. Model-selection criteria and accuracy were used to assess the explanatory and predictive value of local image statistics for breast density judgments. Results: The model selection criteria show that adding local texture statistics to descriptors of the power spectra produce better explanatory and predictive models of radiologists' judgments of breast density. Thus, local texture statistics capture, in some form, non-Gaussian aspects of texture that radiologists are using. Conclusions: Since these local texture statistics are expected to be impacted by imaging factors like modality, dose, and image processing, they suggest avenues for understanding and optimizing observer performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065502
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • breast density
  • breast texture
  • local texture statistics
  • power spectrum


Dive into the research topics of 'Local texture statistics augment the power spectrum in modeling radiographic judgments of breast density'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this