SU-C-207B-02: Maximal Noise Reduction Filter with Anatomical Structures Preservation




All medical images contain noise, which can result in an undesirable appearance and can reduce the visibility of anatomical details. There are varieties of techniques utilized to reduce noise such as increasing the image acquisition time and using post-processing noise reduction algorithms. However, these techniques are increasing the imaging time and cost or reducing tissue contrast and effective spatial resolution which are useful diagnosis information. The three main focuses in this study are: 1) to develop a novel approach that can adaptively and maximally reduce noise while preserving valuable details of anatomical structures, 2) to evaluate the effectiveness of available noise reduction algorithms in comparison to the proposed algorithm, and 3) to demonstrate that the proposed noise reduction approach can be used clinically.


To achieve a maximal noise reduction without destroying the anatomical details, the proposed approach automatically estimated the local image noise strength levels and detected the anatomical structures, i.e. tissue boundaries. Such information was used to adaptively adjust strength of the noise reduction filter. The proposed algorithm was tested on 34 repeating swine head datasets and 54 patients MRI and CT images. The performance was quantitatively evaluated by image quality metrics and manually validated for clinical usages by two radiation oncologists and one radiologist.


Qualitative measurements on repeated swine head images demonstrated that the proposed algorithm efficiently removed noise while preserving the structures and tissues boundaries. In comparisons, the proposed algorithm obtained competitive noise reduction performance and outperformed other filters in preserving anatomical structures. Assessments from the manual validation indicate that the proposed noise reduction algorithm is quite adequate for some clinical usages.


According to both clinical evaluation (human expert ranking) and qualitative assessment, the proposed approach has superior noise reduction and anatomical structures preservation capabilities over existing noise removal methods.

Senior Author Dr. Deshan Yang received research funding form ViewRay and Varian.