General Bayesian estimation for speckle noise reduction in optical coherence tomography retinal imagery
An important image post-processing step for optical coherence tomography (OCT) images is speckle noise reduction. Noise in OCT images is multiplicative in nature and is difficult to suppress due to the fact that in addition the noise component, OCT speckle also carries structural information about the imaged object. To address this issue, a novel speckle noise reduction algorithm was developed. The algorithm projects the imaging data into the logarithmic space and a general Bayesian least
... ayesian least squares estimate of the noise-free data is found using a conditional posterior sampling approach. The proposed algorithm was tested on a number of rodent (rat) retina images acquired in-vivo with a newly developed ultrahigh resolution OCT system. The performance of the algorithm was compared to that of the state-of-the-art algorithms currently available for speckle denoising, such as the adaptive median, maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation, linear least squares estimation, anisotropic diffusion and wavelet-domain filtering methods. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is capable of achieving state-of-the-art performance when compared to the other tested methods in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), edge preservation, and equivalent number of looks (ENL) measures. Visual comparisons also show that the proposed approach provides effective speckle noise suppression while preserving the sharpness and improving the visibility of morphological details, such as tiny capillaries and thin layers in the rat retina OCT images.