Optimally stabilized PET image denoising using trilateral filtering

Awais Mansoor, Ulas Bagci*, Daniel J. Mollura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Low-resolution and signal-dependent noise distribution in positron emission tomography (PET) images makes denoising process an inevitable step prior to qualitative and quantitative image analysis tasks. Conventional PET denoising methods either over-smooth small-sized structures due to resolution limitation or make incorrect assumptions about the noise characteristics. Therefore, clinically important quantitative information may be corrupted. To address these challenges, we introduced a novel approach to remove signal-dependent noise in the PET images where the noise distribution was considered as Poisson-Gaussian mixed. Meanwhile, the generalized Anscombe's transformation (GAT) was used to stabilize varying nature of the PET noise. Other than noise stabilization, it is also desirable for the noise removal filter to preserve the boundaries of the structures while smoothing the noisy regions. Indeed, it is important to avoid significant loss of quantitative information such as standard uptake value (SUV)-based metrics as well as metabolic lesion volume. To satisfy all these properties, we extended bilateral filtering method into trilateral filtering through multiscaling and optimal Gaussianization process. The proposed method was tested on more than 50 PET-CT images from various patients having different cancers and achieved the superior performance compared to the widely used denoising techniques in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2014 - 17th International Conference, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9783319104034
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2014 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Sep 14 2014Sep 18 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 1
Volume8673 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other17th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2014
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


  • denoising
  • generalized variance stabilizing transformation
  • Positron emission tomography
  • trilateral filtering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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