Repository logo

MUGI-MRI: Enhancing Breast Cancer Classification through Multiplex Graph Neural Networks in DCE-MRI

Accepted version


Conference Object

Change log


Ceccarelli, Francesco 
Holden, Sean B 
Liò, Pietro 


Abstract—Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI) involves acquiring a sequence of MRIs during the administration of a contrast agent. Radiologists then aim to discern the contrast uptake differences between malignant and benign lesions for tumor classification. Regrettably, existing literature underutilizes the temporal structure inherent to DCE- MRI time series, leading to tumor classifications based on individual instants rather than entire sequences. This research introduces two Graph Neural Network (GNN)-based methods designed to aggregate information from multiple instants within the DCE-MRI sequence. Each lesion undergoes manual segmen- tation, and radiomic features are individually extracted from each time instant of the DCE-MRI sequence. Two graph construction methodologies are proposed: (i) a fully connected graph topology, aiming to represent each temporal instant as a node in a graph; (ii) a multiplex network, named MUGI-MRI (MUltiplex Graph neural network for Integration of MRI), where each layer identifies an instant of the DCE-MRI sequence. MUGI-MRI achieves an AUROC of 0.8017 ± 0.1146, showcasing promising performance in lesion classification. In addition to improving upon current state-of-the-art, the integration capability of MUGI- MRI addresses the problem of imbalance between sensitivity and specificity, which affects numerous studies in the realm of DCE-MRI. Our findings strongly indicate that the aggregation of information across all time instants is pivotal for enhancing the diagnostic process, and vastly superior to a simplistic instant- wise analysis. While applied to MRI sequences, our approach can be extended to general problems of multimodal data integration.



Journal Title

Conference Name

The International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN)

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Publisher DOI

Publisher URL