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IET Image Process. 2013 Jul;7(5):442-450. Epub 2013 Sep 28.

Image denoising algorithm based on contourlet transform for optical coherence tomography heart tube image.

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Institute of Intelligent Vision and Image Information, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002, People's Republic of China.
Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is becoming an increasingly important imaging technology in the Biomedical field. However, the application of OCT is limited by the ubiquitous noise. In this study, the noise of OCT heart tube image is first verified as being multiplicative based on the local statistics (i.e. the linear relationship between the mean and the standard deviation of certain flat area). The variance of the noise is evaluated in log-domain. Based on these, a joint probability density function is constructed to take the inter-direction dependency in the contourlet domain from the logarithmic transformed image into account. Then, a bivariate shrinkage function is derived to denoise the image by the maximum a posteriori estimation. Systemic comparative experiments are made to synthesis images, OCT heart tube images and other OCT tissue images by subjective assessment and objective metrics. The experiment results are analysed based on the denoising results and the predominance degree of the proposed algorithm with respect to the wavelet-based algorithm. The results show that the proposed algorithm improves the signal-to-noise ratio, whereas preserving the edges and has more advantages on the images containing multi-direction information like OCT heart tube image.


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