A Novel Fractional-Order Differentiation Model for Low-Dose CT Image Processing
Low-dose CT (LDCT) images tend to be degraded by excessive mottle noise and steak artifacts. In this paper, we proposed a novel fractional-order differentiation model that can be applied to LDCT image processing as a post-processing technique. The anisotropic diffusion model (proposed by Perona and Malik, i.e., PM model) has good performance in flat regions, total variation (TV) model works better in edge preservation, and fractional-order differentiation models can mitigate block effect while preserving fine details and more structure. The proposed model is based on the weighted combinations of the fractional-order PM model and the fractional-order TV model, which maintains the advantages of PM model, TV model, and fractional-order differentiation models. Moreover, the local intensity variance was added to both weighted coefficient and diffusion coefficient of the proposed model to properly preserve edges and details. A variety of simulated phantom data, including the Shepp–Logan head phantom, the pelvis phantom, and the actual thoracic phantom, were used for experimental validation. The results of numerical simulation and clinical data experiments demonstrate that the proposed approach has a better performance in both noise suppression and detail preservation, when compared with several other existing methods.
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