Dynamic contrast enhanced Breast MRI (DCE BMRI) has emerged as powerful tool in the diagnostic work-up of breast
cancer. While DCE BMRI is very sensitive, specificity remains to be an issue. Consequently, there is a need for features
that support the classification of enhancing lesions into benign and malignant lesions. Traditional features include the
morphology and the texture of a lesion, as well as the kinetic parameters of the time-intensity curves, i.e., the temporal
change of image intensity at a given location. The kinetic parameters include initial contrast uptake of a lesion and the
type of the kinetic curve. The curve type is usually assigned to one of three classes: persistent enhancement (Type I),
plateau (Type II), and washout (Type III). While these curve types show a correlation with the tumor type (benign or
malignant), only a small sub-volume of the lesion is taken into consideration and the curve type will depend on the
location of the ROI that was used to generate the kinetic curve. Furthermore, it has been shown that the curve type
significantly depends on which MR scanner was used as well as on the scan parameters.
Recently, it was shown that the heterogeneity of a given lesion with respect to spatial variation of the kinetic curve type
is a clinically significant indicator for malignancy of a tumor. In this work we compare four quantitative measures for the
degree of heterogeneity of the signal enhancement ratio in a tumor and evaluate their ability of predicting the dignity of a
tumor. All features are shown to have an area under the ROC curve of between 0.63 and 0.78 (for a single feature).