Skip to Main Content
Speckle noise is an inherent nature of ultrasound images, which may have negative effect on image interpretation and diagnostic tasks. In this paper, we propose several multiscale nonlinear thresholding methods for ultrasound speckle suppression. The wavelet coefficients of the logarithm of image are modeled as the sum of a noise-free component plus an independent noise. Assuming that the noise-free component has some local mixture distribution (MD), and the noise is either Gaussian or Rayleigh, we derive the minimum mean squared error (MMSE) and the averaged maximum (AMAP) estimators for noise reduction. We use Gaussian and Laplacian MD for each noise-free wavelet coefficient to characterize their heavy-tailed property. Since we estimate the parameters of the MD using the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm and local neighbors, the proposed MD incorporates some information about the intrascale dependency of the wavelet coefficients. To evaluate our spatially adaptive despeckling methods, we use both real medical ultrasound and synthetically introduced speckle images for speckle suppression. The simulation results show that our method outperforms several recently and the state-of-the-art techniques qualitatively and quantitatively.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008