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In Physics in medicine and biology

The clinical value of multiple b-value diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown in many studies. However, DW-MRI often suffers from low signal-to-noise ratio, especially at high b-values. To address this limitation, we present an image denoising method based on the concept of deep image prior (DIP). In this method, high-quality prior images obtained from the same patient were used as the network input, and all noisy DW images were used as the network output. Our aim is to denoise all b-value DW images simultaneously. By using early stopping, we expect the DIP-based model to learn the content of images instead of the noise. The performance of the proposed DIP method was evaluated using both simulated and real DW-MRI data. We simulated a digital phantom and generated noise-free DW-MRI data according to the intravoxel incoherent motion model. Different levels of Rician noise were then simulated. The proposed DIP method was compared with the image denoising method using local principal component analysis (LPCA). The simulation results show that the proposed DIP method outperforms the LPCA method in terms of mean-squared error and parameter estimation. The results of real DW-MRI data show that the proposed DIP method can improve the quality of IVIM parametric images. DIP is a feasible method for denoising multiple b-value DW-MRI data.

Lin Yu-Chun, Huang Hsuan-Ming


deep learning, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, image denoising