TU-F-CAMPUS-J-05: Effect of Uncorrelated Noise Texture On Computed Tomography Quantitative Image Features




To investigate the relationship between quantitative image features (i.e. radiomics) and statistical fluctuations (i.e. electronic noise) in clinical Computed Tomography (CT) using the standardized American College of Radiology (ACR) CT accreditation phantom and patient images.


Three levels of uncorrelated Gaussian noise were added to CT images of phantom and patients (20) acquired in static mode and respiratory tracking mode. We calculated the noise-power spectrum (NPS) of the original CT images of the phantom, and of the phantom images with added Gaussian noise with means of 50, 80, and 120 HU. Concurrently, on patient images (original and noise-added images), image features were calculated: 14 shape, 19 intensity (1st order statistics from intensity volume histograms), 18 GLCM features (2nd order statistics from grey level co-occurrence matrices) and 11 RLM features (2nd order statistics from run-length matrices). These features provide the underlying structural information of the images. GLCM (size 128x128) was calculated with a step size of 1 voxel in 13 directions and averaged. RLM feature calculation was performed in 13 directions with grey levels binning into 128 levels.


Adding the electronic noise to the images modified the quality of the NPS, shifting the noise from mostly correlated to mostly uncorrelated voxels. The dramatic increase in noise texture did not affect image structure/contours significantly for patient images. However, it did affect the image features and textures significantly as demonstrated by GLCM differences.


Image features are sensitive to acquisition factors (simulated by adding uncorrelated Gaussian noise). We speculate that image features will be more difficult to detect in the presence of electronic noise (an uncorrelated noise contributor) or, for that matter, any other highly correlated image noise. This work focuses on the effect of electronic, uncorrelated, noise and future work shall examine the influence of changes in quantum noise on the features.

J. Oliver was supported by NSF FGLSAMP BD award HRD #1139850 and the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.