Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology is an international journal designed for the diverse community (biomedical, industrial and academic) of users and developers of novel x-ray imaging techniques. The purpose of the journal is to provide clear and full coverage of new developments and applications in the field.
Areas such as x-ray microlithography, x-ray astronomy and medical x-ray imaging as well as new technologies arising from fields traditionally considered unrelated to x rays (semiconductor processing, accelerator technology, ionizing and non-ionizing medical diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, etc.) present opportunities for research that can meet new challenges as they arise.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Recently, one promising approach to suppress noise/artifacts in low-dose CT (LDCT) images is the CNN-based approach, which learns the mapping function from LDCT to normal-dose CT (NDCT). However, most CNN-based methods are purely data-driven, thus lacking sufficient interpretability and often losing details. OBJECTIVE: To solve this problem, we propose a deep convolutional dictionary learning method for LDCT denoising, in which a novel convolutional dictionary learning model with adaptive window (CDL-AW) is designed, and a corresponding enhancement-based convolutional dictionary learning network (called ECDAW-Net) is constructed to unfold the CDL-AW model iteratively using the proximal gradient descent technique.…METHODS: In detail, the adaptive window-constrained convolutional dictionary atom is proposed to alleviate spectrum leakage caused by data truncation during convolution. Furthermore, in the ECDAW-Net, a multi-scale edge extraction module that consists of LoG and Sobel convolution layers is proposed in the unfolding iteration, to supplement lost textures and details. Additionally, to further improve the detail retention ability, the ECDAW-Net is trained by the compound loss function of the pixel-level MSE loss and the proposed patch-level loss, which can assist to retain richer structural information. RESULTS: Applying ECDAW-Net to the Mayo dataset, we obtained the highest peak signal-to-noise ratio (33.94) and sub-optimal structural similarity (0.92). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with some state-of-art methods, the interpretable ECDAW-Net performs well in suppressing noise/artifacts and preserving textures of tissue.
Keywords: Low-dose CT, deep convolutional dictionary learning, adaptive window, multi-scale edge extraction, patch-level loss
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Low dose computed tomography (LDCT) uses lower radiation dose, but the reconstructed images contain higher noise that can have negative impact in disease diagnosis. Although deep learning with the edge extraction operators reserves edge information well, only applying the edge extraction operators to input LDCT images does not yield overall satisfactory results. OBJECTIVE: To improve LDCT images quality, this study proposes and tests a dual edge extraction multi-scale attention mechanism convolution neural network (DEMACNN) based on a compound loss. METHODS: The network uses edge extraction operators to extract edge information from both the input images…and the feature maps in the network, improving the utilization of the edge operators and retaining the images edge information. The feature enhancement block is constructed by fusing the attention mechanism and multi-scale module, enhancing effective information, while suppressing useless information. The residual learning method is used to learn the network, improving the performance of the network, and solving the problem of gradient disappearance. Except for the network structure, a compound loss function, which consists of the MSE loss, the proposed joint total variation loss, and the edge loss, is proposed to enhance the denoising ability of the network and reserve the edge of images. RESULTS: Compared with other advanced methods (REDCNN, CT-former and EDCNN), the proposed new network achieves the best PSNR and SSIM values in LDCT images of the abdomen, which are 33.3486 and 0.9104, respectively. In addition, the new network also performs well on head and chest image data. CONCLUSION: The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed new network structure and denoising algorithm not only effectively removes the noise in LDCT images, but also protects the edges and details of the images well.