Background: After the release of compressed sensing (CS) theory, reconstruction algorithms from sparse and incomplete data have shown great improvements in diminishing artifacts of missing data. Following this progress, both local and non-local regularization induced iterative reconstructions have been actively used in limited view angle imaging problems.
Methods: In this study, a 3D iterative image reconstruction method (ART + TV)NLM was introduced by combining local total variation (TV) with non-local means (NLM) filter. In the first step, TV minimization was applied to the image obtained by algebraic reconstruction technique (ART) for background noise removal with preserving edges. In the second step, NLM is used in order to suppress the out of focus slice blur which is the most existent image artifact in tomosynthesis imaging. NLM exploits the similar structures to increase the smoothness in the image reconstructed by ART + TV.
Results: A tomosynthesis system and a 3D phantom were designed to perform simulations to show the superior performance of our proposed (ART + TV)NLM over ART and widely used ART + TV methods. Visual inspections show a significant improvement in image quality compared to ART and ART + TV.
Conclusions: RMSE, Structure SIMilarity (SSIM) value and SNR of a specific layer of interest (LOI) showed that by proper selection of NLM parameters, significant improvements can be achieved in terms of convergence rate and image quality.