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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 952819, 16 pages
Research Article

True 4D Image Denoising on the GPU

1Division of Medical Informatics, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
2Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Received 31 March 2011; Revised 23 June 2011; Accepted 24 June 2011

Academic Editor: Khaled Z. Abd-Elmoniem

Copyright © 2011 Anders Eklund et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of image denoising techniques is an important part of many medical imaging applications. One common application is to improve the image quality of low-dose (noisy) computed tomography (CT) data. While 3D image denoising previously has been applied to several volumes independently, there has not been much work done on true 4D image denoising, where the algorithm considers several volumes at the same time. The problem with 4D image denoising, compared to 2D and 3D denoising, is that the computational complexity increases exponentially. In this paper we describe a novel algorithm for true 4D image denoising, based on local adaptive filtering, and how to implement it on the graphics processing unit (GPU). The algorithm was applied to a 4D CT heart dataset of the resolution 512  × 512  × 445  × 20. The result is that the GPU can complete the denoising in about 25 minutes if spatial filtering is used and in about 8 minutes if FFT-based filtering is used. The CPU implementation requires several days of processing time for spatial filtering and about 50 minutes for FFT-based filtering. The short processing time increases the clinical value of true 4D image denoising significantly.