Mammographic breast density in Chinese women: Spatial distribution and autocorrelation patterns

Wai Keung Christopher Lai, Ka Wai Helen Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mammographic breast density (MBD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. The spatial distribution of MBD in the breast is variable and dependent on physiological, genetic, environmental and pathological factors. This pilot study aims to define the spatial distribution and autocorrelation patterns of MBD in Chinese women aged 40-60. By analyzing their digital mammographic images using a public domain Java image processing program for segmentation and quantification of MBD, we found their left and right breasts were symmetric to each other in regard to their breast size (Total Breast Area), the amount of BMD (overall PD) and Moran's I values. Their MBD was also spatially autocorrelated together in the anterior part of the breast in those with a smaller breast size, while those with a larger breast size tend to have their MBD clustered near the posterior part of the breast. Finally, we observed that the autocorrelation pattern of MBD was dispersed after a 3-year observation period.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136881
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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