Rician Noise Removal in Diffusion Tensor MRI
Rician noise introduces a bias into MRI measurements that can have a significant impact on the shapes and orientations of tensors in diffusion tensor magnetic resonance images. This is less of a problem in structural MRI, because this bias is signal dependent and it does not seriously impair tissue identification or clinical diagnoses. However, diffusion imaging is used extensively for quantitative evaluations, and the tensors used in those evaluations are biased in ways that depend on orientation and signal levels. This paper presents a strategy for filtering diffusion tensor magnetic resonance images that addresses these issues. The method is a maximum a posteriori estimation technique that operates directly on the diffusion weighted images and accounts for the biases introduced by Rician noise. We account for Rician noise through a data likelihood term that is combined with a spatial smoothing prior. The method compares favorably with several other approaches from the literature, including methods that filter diffusion weighted imagery and those that operate directly on the diffusion tensors.
KeywordsFractional Anisotropy Gradient Direction Error Metrics Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Image Likelihood Term
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