Objective: Because of the increased precision of ultrasound breast cancer screening, early cancer cases with no clear mass or extraction of microcysts on imaging have recently increased, and improvement of the accuracy of breast fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) cytology is needed. The objective of this study was to investigate the usefulness of cluster gray image-fractal analysis evaluating the darkness of clusters, cluster unevenness, and complexity of hyperchromicity (cluster density) of deep-stained cell clusters, known as hyperchromatic crowded cell groups (HCG), on FNAB as a cytology assistance system for breast FNAB. Study Design: One hundred clusters collected from 10 patients with fibroadenoma (FA), 90 clusters from 9 patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and 122 clusters from 11 patients with invasive breast carcinoma of no special type (IBC-NST) were used. (1) Cluster size classification: clusters were classified into small, middle, and large clusters (small cluster: smaller than 40 × 102 μm2; large cluster: 100 × 102 μm2 or larger; middle cluster: intermediate), and their frequency was calculated. (2) Cluster gray image-fractal analysis: (a) the darkness of clusters (luminance), (b) cluster unevenness (complexity), and (c) complexity of cluster density (roundness-corrected fractal value) were assessed. For statistical analysis, the multiple comparison Steel-Dwass test was used, with a significance level of p < 0.05. Results: (1) Cluster size classification: in FA, small, middle, and large clusters appeared at a similar frequency, and the frequency (30%) of large clusters was significantly higher than that in other diseases. In IBC-NST, many small clusters (61%) appeared and their frequency was significantly higher than that in other diseases, whereas the frequency of large clusters was significantly lower. (2) Cluster gray image-fractal analysis: in IBC-NST, the luminance of small clusters was low (dark), the cluster unevenness was high, and the complexity of cluster density was high, whereas the luminance of large clusters was high (bright), the cluster unevenness was high, and complexity of cluster density was high compared with those in FA. Conclusion: Cluster gray image-fractal analysis evaluating the darkness of clusters, cluster unevenness, and complexity of cluster density in breast FNAB HCG is a useful cytology assistance system for breast FNA.

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