A comparison of denoising methods for X-ray fluoroscopic images

Tommaso Cerciello, Paolo Bifulco*, Mario Cesarelli, Antonio Fratini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluoroscopic images exhibit severe signal-dependent quantum noise, due to the reduced X-ray dose involved in image formation, that is generally modelled as Poisson-distributed. However, image gray-level transformations, commonly applied by fluoroscopic device to enhance contrast, modify the noise statistics and the relationship between image noise variance and expected pixel intensity. Image denoising is essential to improve quality of fluoroscopic images and their clinical information content. Simple average filters are commonly employed in real-time processing, but they tend to blur edges and details. An extensive comparison of advanced denoising algorithms specifically designed for both signal-dependent noise (AAS, BM3Dc, HHM, TLS) and independent additive noise (AV, BM3D, K-SVD) was presented. Simulated test images degraded by various levels of Poisson quantum noise and real clinical fluoroscopic images were considered. Typical gray-level transformations (e.g. white compression) were also applied in order to evaluate their effect on the denoising algorithms. Performances of the algorithms were evaluated in terms of peak-signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), mean square error (MSE), structural similarity index (SSIM) and computational time. On average, the filters designed for signal-dependent noise provided better image restorations than those assuming additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). Collaborative denoising strategy was found to be the most effective in denoising of both simulated and real data, also in the presence of image gray-level transformations. White compression, by inherently reducing the greater noise variance of brighter pixels, appeared to support denoising algorithms in performing more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-559
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Signal Processing and Control
Issue number6
Early online date13 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • denoising algorithms
  • fluoroscopic image
  • Poisson distribution
  • quantum noise


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