Low Dose CT Image Denoising Using a Generative Adversarial Network with Wasserstein Distance and Perceptual Loss

The continuous development and extensive use of CT in medical practice has raised a public concern over the associated radiation dose to the patient. Reducing the radiation dose may lead to increased noise and artifacts, which can adversely affect the radiologists judgement and confidence. Hence, advanced image reconstruction from low-dose CT data is needed to improve the diagnostic performance, which is a challenging problem due to its ill-posed nature. Over the past years, various low-dose CT methods have produced impressive results. However, most of the algorithms developed for this application, including the recently popularized deep learning techniques, aim for minimizing the mean-squared-error (MSE) between a denoised CT image and the ground truth under generic penalties. Although the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) is improved, MSE- or weighted-MSE-based methods can compromise the visibility of important structural details after aggressive denoising. This paper introduces a new CT image denoising method based on the generative adversarial network (GAN) with Wasserstein distance and perceptual similarity. The Wasserstein distance is a key concept of the optimal transport theory, and promises to improve the performance of GAN. The perceptual loss suppresses noise by comparing the perceptual features of a denoised output against those of the ground truth in an established feature space, while the GAN focuses more on migrating the data noise distribution from strong to weak statistically. Therefore, our proposed method transfers our knowledge of visual perception to the image denoising task and is capable of not only reducing the image noise level but also trying to keep the critical information at the same time. Promising results have been obtained in our experiments with clinical CT images.

Source code of the work can be found at https://github.com/yyqqss09/ldct_denoising


Q. Yang, P. Yan, Y. Zhang, H. Yu, Y. Shi, X. Mou, M. K. Kalra, Y. Zhang, L. Sun, G. Wang, " Low Dose CT Image Denoising Using a Generative Adversarial Network with Wasserstein Distance and Perceptual Loss ,"

IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 1348-1357, June 2018.


author={Q. Yang and P. Yan and Y. Zhang and H. Yu and Y. Shi and X. Mou and M. K. Kalra and Y. Zhang and L. Sun and G. Wang}, 
journal={IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging}, 
title={Low-Dose CT Image Denoising Using a Generative Adversarial Network With Wasserstein Distance and Perceptual Loss}, 
keywords={Biomedical imaging;Computed tomography;Gallium nitride;Image denoising;Image reconstruction;Machine learning;Noise reduction;Low dose CT;WGAN;deep learning;image denoising;perceptual loss},