Purpose Clinical procedures that make use of ﬂuoroscopy may expose patients as well as the clinical staff (throughout their career) to non-negligible doses of radiation. The potential consequences of such exposures fall under two categories, namely stochastic (mostly cancer) and deterministic risks (skin injury). According to the “as low as reasonably achievable” principle, the radiation dose can be lowered only if the necessary image quality can be maintained. Methods Our work improves upon the existing patch-based denoising algorithms by utilizing a more sophisticated noise model to exploit non-local self-similarity better and this in turn improves the performance of low-rank approximation. The novelty of the proposed approach lies in its properly designed and parameterized noise model and the elimination of initial estimates. This reduces the computational cost signiﬁcantly. Results The algorithm has been evaluated on 500 clinical images (7 patients, 20 sequences, 3 clinical sites), taken at ultra-low dose levels, i.e. 50% of the standard low dose level, during electrophysiology procedures. An average improvement in the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) by a factor of around 3.5 has been found. This is associated with an image quality achieved at around 12 (square of 3.5) times the ultra-low dose level. Qualitative evaluation by
International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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