Background and Objective Low-dose X-ray fluoroscopy has continually evolved to reduce radiation risk to patients during clinical diagnosis and surgery. However, the reduction in dose exposure causes quality degradation of the acquired images. In general, an X-ray device has a time-average pre-processor to remove the generated quantum noise. However, this pre-processor causes blurring and artifacts within the moving edge regions, and noise remains in the image. During high-pass filtering (HPF) to enhance edge detail, this noise in the image is amplified. Methods In this study, a 2D edge enhancement algorithm comprising region adaptive HPF with the transient improvement (TI) method, as well as artifacts and noise reduction (ANR), was developed for degraded X-ray fluoroscopic images. The proposed method was applied in a static scene pre-processed by a low-dose X-ray fluoroscopy device. First, the sharpness of the X-ray image was improved using region adaptive HPF with the TI method, which facilitates sharpening of edge details without overshoot problems. Then, an ANR filter that uses an edge directional kernel was developed to remove the artifacts and noise that can occur during sharpening, while preserving edge details. Results The quantitative and qualitative results obtained by applying the developed method to low-dose X-ray fluoroscopic images and visually and numerically comparing the final images with images improved using conventional edge enhancement techniques indicate that the proposed method outperforms existing edge enhancement methods in terms of objective criteria and subjective visual perception of the actual X-ray fluoroscopic image. Conclusions The developed edge enhancement algorithm performed well when applied to actual low-dose X-ray fluoroscopic images, not only by improving the sharpness, but also by removing artifacts and noise, including overshoot.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Health Informatics