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In this study, an adaptive multiresolution version of the blockwise non-local (NL)-means filter is presented for three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance (MR) images. On the basis of an adaptive soft wavelet coefficient mixing, the proposed filter implicitly adapts the amount of denoising according to the spatial and frequency information contained in the image. Two versions of the filter are described for Gaussian and Rician noise. Quantitative validation was carried out on BrainWeb datasets by using several quality metrics. The results show that the proposed multiresolution filter obtained competitive performance compared with recently proposed Rician NL-means filters. Finally, qualitative experiments on anatomical and diffusion-weighted MR images show that the proposed filter efficiently removes noise while preserving fine structures in classical and very noisy cases. The impact of the proposed denoising method on fibre tracking is also presented on a HARDI dataset.
Date of Publication: July 2012