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14 February 2012 HARDI denoising using nonlocal means on S2
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Diffusion MRI (dMRI) is a unique imaging modality for in vivo delineation of the anatomical structure of white matter in the brain. In particular, high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) is a specific instance of dMRI which is known to excel in detection of multiple neural fibers within a single voxel. Unfortunately, the angular resolution of HARDI is known to be inversely proportional to SNR, which makes the problem of denoising of HARDI data be of particular practical importance. Since HARDI signals are effectively band-limited, denoising can be accomplished by means of linear filtering. However, the spatial dependency of diffusivity in brain tissue makes it impossible to find a single set of linear filter parameters which is optimal for all types of diffusion signals. Hence, adaptive filtering is required. In this paper, we propose a new type of non-local means (NLM) filtering which possesses the required adaptivity property. As opposed to similar methods in the field, however, the proposed NLM filtering is applied in the spherical domain of spatial orientations. Moreover, the filter uses an original definition of adaptive weights, which are designed to be invariant to both spatial rotations as well as to a particular sampling scheme in use. As well, we provide a detailed description of the proposed filtering procedure, its efficient implementation, as well as experimental results with synthetic data. We demonstrate that our filter has substantially better adaptivity as compared to a number of alternative methods.
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Alan Kuurstra, Sudipto Dolui, and Oleg Michailovich "HARDI denoising using nonlocal means on S2", Proc. SPIE 8314, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Processing, 83140I (14 February 2012);

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