A sinogram denoising algorithm for low-dose computed tomography Karimi, Davood; Deman, Pierre; Ward, Rabab; Ford, Nancy
Background: From the viewpoint of the patients’ health, reducing the radiation dose in computed tomography (CT) is highly desirable. However, projection measurements acquired under low-dose conditions will contain much noise. Therefore, reconstruction of high-quality images from low-dose scans requires effective denoising of the projection measurements. Methods We propose a denoising algorithm that is based on maximizing the data likelihood and sparsity in the gradient domain. For Poisson noise, this formulation automatically leads to a locally adaptive denoising scheme. Because the resulting optimization problem is hard to solve and may also lead to artifacts, we suggest an explicitly local denoising method by adapting an existing algorithm for normally-distributed noise. We apply the proposed method on sets of simulated and real cone-beam projections and compare its performance with two other algorithms. Results The proposed algorithm effectively suppresses the noise in simulated and real CT projections. Denoising of the projections with the proposed algorithm leads to a substantial improvement of the reconstructed image in terms of noise level, spatial resolution, and visual quality. Conclusion The proposed algorithm can suppress very strong quantum noise in CT projections. Therefore, it can be used as an effective tool in low-dose CT.
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