Application of improved homogeneity similarity-based denoising in optical coherence tomography retinal images

J Digit Imaging. 2015 Jun;28(3):346-61. doi: 10.1007/s10278-014-9742-8.

Abstract

Image denoising is a fundamental preprocessing step of image processing in many applications developed for optical coherence tomography (OCT) retinal imaging--a high-resolution modality for evaluating disease in the eye. To make a homogeneity similarity-based image denoising method more suitable for OCT image removal, we improve it by considering the noise and retinal characteristics of OCT images in two respects: (1) median filtering preprocessing is used to make the noise distribution of OCT images more suitable for patch-based methods; (2) a rectangle neighborhood and region restriction are adopted to accommodate the horizontal stretching of retinal structures when observed in OCT images. As a performance measurement of the proposed technique, we tested the method on real and synthetic noisy retinal OCT images and compared the results with other well-known spatial denoising methods, including bilateral filtering, five partial differential equation (PDE)-based methods, and three patch-based methods. Our results indicate that our proposed method seems suitable for retinal OCT imaging denoising, and that, in general, patch-based methods can achieve better visual denoising results than point-based methods in this type of imaging, because the image patch can better represent the structured information in the images than a single pixel. However, the time complexity of the patch-based methods is substantially higher than that of the others.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Radiography
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*