"No Sonographer, No Radiologist: Assessing Accuracy of Artificial Intelligence on Breast Ultrasound Volume Sweep Imaging cans"

November 23, 2022

A paper co-authored by Professor Kevin Parker and collaborators from URMC (Thomas Marini, Timothy M. Baran, Yu Zhao, Galen Brennan, Jonah Kan, Steven Meng, Ann Dozier, Avice O'Connell), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Benjamin Castaneda, Stefano Romero), and Samsung (Zaegyoo Hah, Moon Ho Park) titled "No sonographer, no radiologist: assessing accuracy of artificial intelligence on breast ultrasound volume sweep imaging scans" has been published in PLOS Digital Health. The abstract follows, and more information can be found here.

Abstract: Breast ultrasound provides a first-line evaluation for breast masses, but the majority of the world lacks access to any form of diagnostic imaging. In this pilot study, we assessed the combination of artificial intelligence (Samsung S-Detect for Breast) with volume sweep imaging (VSI) ultrasound scans to evaluate the possibility of inexpensive, fully automated breast ultrasound acquisition and preliminary interpretation without an experienced sonographer or radiologist. This study was conducted using examinations from a curated data set from a previously published clinical study of breast VSI. Examinations in this data set were obtained by medical students without prior ultrasound experience who performed VSI using a portable Butterfly iQ ultrasound probe. Standard of care ultrasound exams were performed concurrently by an experienced sonographer using a high-end ultrasound machine. Expert-selected VSI images and standard of care images were input into S-Detect which output mass features and classification as “possibly benign” and “possibly malignant.” Subsequent comparison of the S-Detect VSI report was made between 1) the standard of care ultrasound report by an expert radiologist, 2) the standard of care ultrasound S-Detect report, 3) the VSI report by an expert radiologist, and 4) the pathological diagnosis. There were 115 masses analyzed by S-Detect from the curated data set. There was substantial agreement of the S-Detect interpretation of VSI among cancers, cysts, fibroadenomas, and lipomas to the expert standard of care ultrasound report (Cohen’s κ = 0.73 (0.57–0.9 95% CI), p<0.0001), the standard of care ultrasound S-Detect interpretation (Cohen’s κ = 0.79 (0.65–0.94 95% CI), p<0.0001), the expert VSI ultrasound report (Cohen’s κ = 0.73 (0.57–0.9 95% CI), p<0.0001), and the pathological diagnosis (Cohen’s κ = 0.80 (0.64–0.95 95% CI), p<0.0001). All pathologically proven cancers (n = 20) were designated as “possibly malignant” by S-Detect with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 86%. Integration of artificial intelligence and VSI could allow both acquisition and interpretation of ultrasound images without a sonographer and radiologist. This approach holds potential for increasing access to ultrasound imaging and therefore improving outcomes related to breast cancer in low- and middle- income countries.