Physics in medicine and biology

Discriminative feature representation: an effective postprocessing solution to low dose CT imaging.

PMID 28212114


This paper proposes a concise and effective approach termed discriminative feature representation (DFR) for low dose computerized tomography (LDCT) image processing, which is currently a challenging problem in medical imaging field. This DFR method assumes LDCT images as the superposition of desirable high dose CT (HDCT) 3D features and undesirable noise-artifact 3D features (the combined term of noise and artifact features induced by low dose scan protocols), and the decomposed HDCT features are used to provide the processed LDCT images with higher quality. The target HDCT features are solved via the DFR algorithm using a featured dictionary composed by atoms representing HDCT features and noise-artifact features. In this study, the featured dictionary is efficiently built using physical phantom images collected from the same CT scanner as the target clinical LDCT images to process. The proposed DFR method also has good robustness in parameter setting for different CT scanner types. This DFR method can be directly applied to process DICOM formatted LDCT images, and has good applicability to current CT systems. Comparative experiments with abdomen LDCT data validate the good performance of the proposed approach.

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