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Pipeline for effective denoising of digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2017
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
ISBN (Electronic)9781510607095
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventMedical Imaging -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameProgress in biomedical optics and imaging
ISSN (Electronic)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging
Period1/01/00 → …


Denoising can be used as a tool to enhance image quality and enforce low radiation doses in X-ray medical imaging. The effectiveness of denoising techniques relies on the validity of the underlying noise model. In full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), calibration steps like the detector offset and flat-fielding can affect some assumptions made by most denoising techniques. Furthermore, quantum noise found in X-ray images is signal-dependent and can only be treated by specific filters. In this work we propose a pipeline for FFDM and DBT image denoising that considers the calibration steps and simplifies the modeling of the noise statistics through variance-stabilizing transformations (VST). The performance of a state-of-the-art denoising method was tested with and without the proposed pipeline. To evaluate the method, objective metrics such as the normalized root mean square error (N-RMSE), noise power spectrum, modulation transfer function (MTF) and the frequency signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were analyzed. Preliminary tests show that the pipeline improves denoising. When the pipeline is not used, bright pixels of the denoised image are under-filtered and dark pixels are over-smoothed due to the assumption of a signal-independent Gaussian model. The pipeline improved denoising up to 20% in terms of spatial N-RMSE and up to 15% in terms of frequency SNR. Besides improving the denoising, the pipeline does not increase signal smoothing significantly, as shown by the MTF. Thus, the proposed pipeline can be used with state-of-the-art denoising techniques to improve the quality of DBT and FFDM images.


  • Denoising, Digital breast tomosynthesis, Full field digital mammography, Variance stabilization

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