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In IEEE transactions on medical imaging ; h5-index 74.0

The explosive rise of the use of Computer tomography (CT) imaging in medical practice has heightened public concern over the patient's associated radiation dose. On the other hand, reducing the radiation dose leads to increased noise and artifacts, which adversely degrades the scan's interpretability. In recent times, the deep learning-based technique has emerged as a promising method for low dose CT(LDCT) denoising. However, some common bottleneck still exists, which hinders deep learning-based techniques from furnishing the best performance. In this study, we attempted to mitigate these problems with three novel accretions. First, we propose a novel convolutional module as the first attempt to utilize neighborhood similarity of CT images for denoising tasks. Our proposed module assisted in boosting the denoising by a significant margin. Next, we moved towards the problem of non-stationarity of CT noise and introduced a new noise aware mean square error loss for LDCT denoising. The loss mentioned above also assisted to alleviate the laborious effort required while training CT denoising network using image patches. Lastly, we propose a novel discriminator function for CT denoising tasks. The conventional vanilla discriminator tends to overlook the fine structural details and focus on the global agreement. Our proposed discriminator leverage self-attention and pixel-wise GANs for restoring the diagnostic quality of LDCT images. Our method validated on a publicly available dataset of the 2016 NIH-AAPM-Mayo Clinic Low Dose CT Grand Challenge performed remarkably better than the existing state of the art method. The corresponding source code is available at: https://github.com/reach2sbera/ldct_nonlocal.

Bera Sutanu, Biswas Prabir Kumar

2021-Jul-05