Skip to Main Content
We have developed a method to study the statistical properties of the noise found in various medical images. The method is specifically designed for types of noise with uncorrelated fluctuations. Such signal fluctuations generally originate in the physical processes of imaging rather than in the tissue textures. Various types of noise (e.g., photon, electronics, and quantization) often contribute to degrade medical images; the overall noise is generally assumed to be additive with a zero-mean, constant-variance Gaussian distribution. However, statistical analysis suggests that the noise variance could be better modeled by a nonlinear function of the image intensity depending on external parameters related to the image acquisition protocol. We present a method to extract the relationship between an image intensity and the noise variance and to evaluate the corresponding parameters. The method was applied successfully to magnetic resonance images with different acquisition sequences and to several types of X-ray images.