Biomedical Microdevices

, 18:83 | Cite as

Comparison of Monofractal, Multifractal and gray level Co-occurrence matrix algorithms in analysis of Breast tumor microscopic images for prognosis of distant metastasis risk

  • Nemanja Rajković
  • Daniela Kolarević
  • Ksenija Kanjer
  • Nebojša T. Milošević
  • Dragica Nikolić-Vukosavljević
  • Marko Radulovic


Breast cancer prognosis is a subject undergoing intense study due to its high clinical relevance for effective therapeutic management and a great patient interest in disease progression. Prognostic value of fractal and gray level co-occurrence matrix texture analysis algorithms has been previously established on tumour histology images, but without any direct performance comparison. Therefore, this study was designed to compare the prognostic power of the monofractal, multifractal and co-occurrence algorithms on the same set of images. The investigation was retrospective, with 51 patients selected on account of non-metastatic IBC diagnosis, stage IIIB. Image analysis was performed on digital images of primary tumour tissue sections stained with haematoxylin/eosin. Bootstrap-corrected Cox proportional hazards regression P-values indicated a significant association with metastasis outcome of at least one of the features within each group. AUC values were far better for co-occurrence (0.66–0.77) then for fractal features (0.60–0.64). Correction by the split-sample cross-validation likewise indicated the generalizability only for the co-occurrence features, with their classification accuracies ranging between 67 and 72 %, while accuracies of monofractal and multifractal features were reduced to nearly random 52–55 %. These findings indicate for the first time that the prognostic value of texture analysis of tumour histology is less dependent on the morphological complexity of the image as measured by fractal analysis, but predominantly on the spatial distribution of the gray pixel intensities as calculated by the co-occurrence features.


Breast cancer Histology texture Tumor GLCM Prognosis Metastasis Image analysis Fractal Multifractal Histomorphology 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This work was supported by the research Grant No. 175068 from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, School of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Institute for Oncology and RadiologyDaily Chemotherapy HospitalBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Department of Experimental OncologyInstitute for Oncology and RadiologyBelgradeSerbia

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