Development of an automated detection algorithm for patient motion blur in digital mammograms

Melissa L. Hill, Patsy Whelehan, Sarah J. Vinnicombe, Christopher E. Tromans, Andrew Evans, Violet R. Warwick, J. Michael Brady, Ralph P. Highnam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)
357 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose is to develop and validate an automated method for detecting image unsharpness caused by patient motion blur in digital mammograms. The goal is that such a tool would facilitate immediate re-taking of blurred images, which has the potential to reduce the number of recalled examinations, and to ensure that sharp, high-quality mammograms are presented for reading. To meet this goal, an automated method was developed based on interpretation of the normalized image Wiener Spectrum. A preliminary algorithm was developed using 25 cases acquired using a single vendor system, read by two expert readers identifying the presence of blur, location, and severity. A predictive blur severity score was established using multivariate modeling, which had an adjusted coefficient of determination, R2 =0.63±0.02, for linear regression against the average reader-scored blur severity. A heatmap of the relative blur magnitude showed good correspondence with reader sketches of blur location, with a Spearman rank correlation of 0.70 between the algorithmestimated area fraction with blur and the maximum of the blur area fraction categories of the two readers. Given these promising results, the algorithm-estimated blur severity score and heatmap are proposed to be used to aid observer interpretation. The use of this automated blur analysis approach, ideally with feedback during an exam, could lead to a reduction in repeat appointments for technical reasons, saving time, cost, potential anxiety, and improving image quality for accurate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SPIE
Subtitle of host publication14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018)
EditorsElizabeth A. Krupinski
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510620070
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018
Event14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018) - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 8 Jul 201811 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering


Conference14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018)
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • automated detection
  • blur
  • digital radiography
  • mammography
  • Patient motion
  • unsharpness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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