Biased motion-adaptive temporal filtering for speckle reduction in echocardiography

Adrian N Evans, M S Nixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Describes a new fully motion-adaptive spatio-temporal filtering technique to reduce the speckle in ultrasound images. The advantages of this approach are demonstrated in echocardiographic boundary detection and in comparison with other techniques. The first stage of many automated echocardiographic image interpretation schemes is filtering to reduce the amount of speckle noise. The authors show how the two-dimensional least mean squares (TDLMS) filter can be configured as a motion-compensated filter for a time sequence of ultrasound images that eliminates the blurring associated with direct averaging. For an image corrupted by multiplicative speckle noise, the mode of the intensity distribution approximates the maximum likelihood estimator. In consequence, the temporal filter's output is biased towards the mode from the mean, using information contained within the speckle itself. A new adaptive algorithm for controlling the filter's convergence is also included. To evaluate performance, application to simulated, phantom, and an in vivo test sequence of the carotid artery are considered in comparison with other techniques. The effect of filtering on edges is of great importance, as these are used by subsequent image interpretation schemes. Quantitative measurements demonstrate the effectiveness of the Biased TDLMS filter, for both noise reduction and edge preservation. Echocardiographic images have a high noise content and suffer from poor contrast. Despite this challenging environment, the Biased TDLMS filter is shown to produce images that are better inputs for subsequent feature extraction. The benefits for echocardiographic images are highlighted by considering the problems of mitral valve analysis and extraction of the left atrium boundary
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996

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