Wavelet-based statistical approach for speckle reduction in medical ultrasound images

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A novel speckle-reduction method is introduced, based on soft thresholding of the wavelet coefficients of a logarithmically transformed medical ultrasound image. The method is based on the generalised Gaussian distributed (GGD) modelling of sub-band coefficients. The method used was a variant of the recently published BayesShrink method by Chang and Vetterli, derived in the Bayesian framework for denoising natural images. It was scale adaptive, because the parameters required for estimating the threshold depend on scale and sub-band data. The threshold was computed by Kσ/σx, where σ and σx were the standard deviation of the noise and the sub-band data of the noise-free image, respectively, and K was a scale parameter. Experimental results showed that the proposed method outperformed the median filter and the homomorphic Wiener filter by 29% in terms of the coefficient of correlation and 4% in terms of the edge preservation parameter. The numerical values of these quantitative parameters indicated the good feature preservation performance of the algorithm, as desired for better diagnosis in medical image processing.