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Multiple description coding is an effective way to transmit images over unreliable network or multiple channels. In this paper, a three-description image coding scheme is proposed, involving an optimal index assignment to obtain a mapping table that can reduce side distortion and dead-zone lattice vector quantization to quantize different coefficients more efficiently. The aim is to provide more robustness and present a good reconstructed image quality with bit rate as low as possible for unreliable network. The simulation results of standard image show that with consideration of wavelet coefficients characteristic the proposed scheme can reduce side distortion and reduce expected distortion of the system at high loss rate and compression efficiency.