Evaluation of Image Reconstruction Algorithms for Confocal Microwave Imaging: Application to Patient Data
Electrical and Electronic Engineering, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061678
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Microwave Imaging and Detection)
Confocal Microwave Imaging (CMI) for the early detection of breast cancer has been under development for over two decades and is currently going through early-phase clinical evaluation. The image reconstruction algorithm is a key signal processing component of any CMI-based breast imaging system and impacts the efficacy of CMI in detecting breast cancer. Several image reconstruction algorithms for CMI have been developed since its inception. These image reconstruction algorithms have been previously evaluated and compared, using both numerical and physical breast models, and healthy volunteer data. However, no study has been performed to evaluate the performance of image reconstruction algorithms using clinical patient data. In this study, a variety of imaging algorithms, including both data-independent and data-adaptive algorithms, were evaluated using data obtained from a small-scale patient study conducted at the University of Calgary. Six imaging algorithms were applied to reconstruct 3D images of five clinical patients. Reconstructed images for each algorithm and each patient were compared to the available clinical reports, in terms of abnormality detection and localisation. The imaging quality of each algorithm was evaluated using appropriate quality metrics. The results of the conventional Delay-and-Sum algorithm and the Delay-Multiply-and-Sum (DMAS) algorithm were found to be consistent with the clinical information, with DMAS producing better quality images compared to all other algorithms.