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Gabor-based anisotropic diffusion with lattice Boltzmann method for medical ultrasound despeckling

1 The SMART (Smart Medicine and AI-based Radiology Technology) Lab, Shanghai Institute for Advanced Communication and Data Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
2 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
3 School of Communication and Information Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China

Special Issues: Advanced Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

Medical ultrasound images are corrupted by speckle noise, and despeckling methods are required to effectively and efficiently reduce speckle noise while simultaneously preserving details of tissues. This paper proposes a despeckling approach named the Gabor-based anisotropic diffusion coupled with the lattice Boltzmann method (GAD-LBM), which uses the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) to fast solve the partial differential equation of an anisotropic diffusion model embedded with the Gabor edge detector. We evaluated the GAD-LBM on both synthetic and clinical ultrasound images, and the experimental results suggested that the GAD-LBM was superior to other nine methods in speckle suppression and detail preservation. For synthetic and clinical images, the computation time of the GAD-LBM was about 1/90 to 1/20 of the GAD solved with the finite difference, indicating the advantage of the GAD-LBM in efficiency. The GAD-LBM not only has excellent ability of noise reduction and detail preservation for ultrasound images, but also has advantages in computational efficiency.
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