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Reduction the Speckle Noise in Ultrasound Images used the CLS Method
L. J. Morales-Mendoza, R. F. Vzquez-Bautista, E. Morales-Mendoza, M. Gonzlez-Lee and J. Reyes-Garca
AbstractIn this paper, we proposed to apply two new Point Spread Functions to reducing the speckle noise in ultrasound images through the Constrained Least Square (CLS) method. Each Point Spread Function is featured by the imaging system, i.e., the imaging systems Point Spread Function represents the so-called a priori data information. The Gaussian, SINC and Triangular functions are classical Point Spread Functions used to analyze the quantitatively performance versus the outstanding ultrasound image processing PSFs: the first-order Bessel and the lateral profile (pulse) functions, respectively. Finally, we showed several filtered ultrasound images for qualitatively appreciation and the quantitative metrics summary. KeywordsCLS Method, PSF, Ultrasound Image.

function, h(m), this method can be improve to modified of the Point Spread Function (PSF). Thus, in this paper, we present a new proposal to reduce the speckle noise in ultrasound imaging employed the CLS method with two new PSFs. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section II describes as the PSF is ensemble using the block-toeplitz matrix from the characteristic function, h(m). Section III describes the CLS method to the blur reduction in image processing. In the section IV, describes the mathematical model of the ultrasound imaging. In the section V, we present the characteristic functions that describes an ultrasound phenomenon. In the section VI we present some evaluations to prove the accurate of new PSFs employ a renal ultrasound image. Finally, in the section VII we present the conclusions of this paper. II. THE MODEL OF POINT SPREAD FUNCTION The model of the image degradation via linear blurring and additive noising is defined in the discrete form by follow linear equation as
y = Hx + n ,

I. INTRODUCTION he ultrasound in medical imaging has been studied since the early 1950s. During this time, advances in technology and clinical practice have made ultrasound a leading medical diagnostic imaging modality [1, 2, 3 and 4]. Furthermore, the use of the ultrasound in any areas are by example, the monitoring of Fetus, study of the Heart, Kidney, Liver, Cysts, Tissue and human carotid artery disease and so fort [3, 4]. But, due to the blur and typically non Gaussian (speckle) noise, an origin ultrasound image has a poor resolution. The problem of reduction of speckle noise and blur in the image is typical for ultrasound image processing. The bigger variety of the methods used in ultrasound image processing, for example the pseudo inverse Wiener filter defined in [5], that reduced the speckle noise to consider the signal-to-noise ration as constant, the Unbiased FIR filter establishing in [6, 7, 8] that used the polynomial approximation to reduced the speckle noise and realized in simultaneous form the enhanced of ultrasound image, the statistical filters deduced in [9] to reduced in adaptive form the speckle noise for example, the Lee, Kuan and Frost filters. Finally, the Constrained Least Square (CLS) method [10, 11] is a tool very powerful to reduction the blur in the images. But, due the characteristic


where, y, x and n are the observed, original, and noise images, ordered lexicographically by staking either the rows or the columns of each image into a vector. Assuming that the original image is of support m m, then these vectors have support m2 1 and H represents the m2 m2 superposition blur operator commonly known as the PSF [11, 12]. When utilizing the discrete model of equation (1), H becomes a block-toeplitz matrix representing the linear convolution operator, h(m). Toeplitz, and block-toeplitz matrices have special banded properties which make their use desirable for representing linear shift-invariant operators. By padding y and x appropriately with zeros so that the results of linear and circular convolution are the same, H becomes a block circular matrix. This special matrix structure has the form
h(m 1) h(m 2 ) h(0 ) h(1) h(0 ) h(m 1) h(2 ) H= h(1) h(0 ) M M M h(m 1) h(m 2 ) h(m 3)

L. J. Morales-Mendoza, R. F. Vzquez-Bautista, and E. Morales-Mendoza are with Veracruz University, Av. Venustiano Carranza s/n, col. Revolucion, C.P. 93390, Poza Rica Ver., Mxico. (e-mail:{javmorales, favazquez, efmorales}@uv.mx. M. Gonzlez-Lee is with the National Institute Polytechnic (IPN) Culhuacan Unit, SEPI-ESIME, Av. Santana #1000, col. San Francisco Culhuacan, C.P. 04430, Del. Coyoacan, DF Mxico. (email: mglee@ipn.mx) .

h(1) h(2 ) h(3) M h(0 )

= toeplitz (h(m )) .
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Some examples of this function are the Gaussian, SINC and triangular functions. The typical applications of this functions are: the radar imaging showed in [12], in forensic science imaging [13] and military applications in [14]. The mathematical representation of each function is preset as follow Gaussian function
m2 h(m ) = exp a K
m sin a K h(m ) = m a K
a 1 m h(m ) = K 0 m 1 m >1


SINC function


Triangular function


Fig. 1: PSF Gaussian

where, K controls the wideband of the PSF and a is an arbitrary constant. From the Fig. 1 to the Fig. 3, we present a sketches of tree classical PSFs with 50 samples and K = 11 pixels. III. THE CLS METHOD The strategy of CLS method to reconstruction image has the follow mathematical form [10, 11]
1 1 x = arg min 1 J1 (x ) + 2 J 2 (x ) x 2 2


where, 1, and 2 represent the degree of freedom of the method, J1(x) represents the partial error defined as the square of the l2 norm of the discrepancies between the actually formed degraded image and the noise-free model of the blurred image, J2(x) is a conventional Tikhonovs stabilizer that formalizes the prior model assumptions about the visual quality of the desired image that is defined as the weight square norm. Each of the terms defined in (6), J1(x) and J2(x), can be defined as

Fig. 2: PSF triangular

J 1 (x ) = y Hx


J 2 (x ) = x


To obtain the minimum of the convex functional defined in (6), we use the gradient method, (J(x) = 0) to optimized this function in the Means-Square-Error (MSE) sense. Furthermore, we put the both Lagrange multiplier as, 1 = 1, and 2 = , and we obtain the next result,
x = (H T H + I ) H T y

(9) Fig. 3: PSF SINC

where, I is the identity matrix. The (9) is an optimal form of the CLS method where only depends of the PSF matrix, H and the Lagrange multiplier.
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IV. THE MODEL OF THE ULTRASOUND IMAGING In ultrasound imaging, tissue characteristics are often interpreted as a collection of points scatterers embedded in a uniform nonscattering medium [17]. The biological variability associated with tissues, the spatial distribution, and the scattering strength associate whit these scatterers are often describes in statistical terms. The strength of scatterers can be modeled as Gamma distribution and the locations of which are random and follow a uniform distribution. Thus, the structures within the tissue are responsible for the backscattered ultrasonic field can be expressed as

d (r ) = Am (r rm )
m =1

Fig. 4: PSF Bessel

where, d(r) is called tissue response representing the underlying tissue structure, Am represent the m-th scatterer strength, (.) is the Kronecker delta, r is a vector denoting the location {x, y} of the scatterer and M is the number of scatterers in the range cell. The formation of an ultrasound image can be describe by a linear relation involving the general impulse response, h(r) of the imaging system, also called the PSF [15], and discrete distribution of scatterers representing the medium, d(r) [16], as follow

h(r ) = hs (r ) d (r )


where, hs(r) represent the particular impulse response of imaging system. To systems of 2D and 3D, the h(r) can be represented as follow
h(r ) = h(x ) h( y )



h(r ) = h(x ) h( y ) h(z )



Fig. 5: PSF Pulse type

VI. SIMULATIONS For further investigation, we chose a renal ultrasound image of 450 400 pixels showed in Fig. 6. The picture has been formed under the conditions discussed in [18] and [19]. Further, the image was contaminated with both additive white Gaussian and speckle noise components as shown in Fig. 7. The simulation conditions were taken as follows: the Gaussian and speckle noise variance was set as 2 = 0.2, the wide of the PSF is established as K = 11 pixels and the regularization control parameters 1 = 1 and 2 = 10. From the Fig. 8 Fig. 10, we had shown the restoration of ultrasound image with PSF Gaussian, SINC, and Triangular, respectively. We can see that, the Gaussian and triangular functions development a best performance with respect to quantitative metrics (see Table I). But, the SINC function presents a better contrast of colors into of the image enhanced the edge between the image and background of image. To evaluate the performance of these PSFs, we employ two classical metrics widely used in image processing. The Signalto-Noise Ratio (SNR) and Root-Mean-Square-Error (RMSE) metrics are defined as follow [20]
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In [17], present a PSF more complex to emulate the profile of beam in the concave transducer. Due this function, the PSF is also known as the directivity factor. This transducer, the characteristic function is defined as follow
m J1 a K h(m ) = m a K

Bessel function


where, J1(x) is the first order Bessel function (see Fig. 4). Moreover, another PSF very important is defined by Liebgott et. al. in [18] and widely use in Pulse function

m2 m h(m ) = cos a exp K K


In the Fig. 5 we show the profile of this function.

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N 2

SNRdB = 10 log 10

m =1 n =1

m =1 n =1 N

[x(m, n)]

[x(m.n ) x(m, n )]2


RMSE = 1 MN [x(m, n ) x(m, n)]
M m =1 n =1 2


In the Table I, we present the quantitative evaluation of image restoration employ the CLS method with the Gaussian, SINC and triangular functions with respect to noisy image show in the Fig. 7.

Fig. 8: Image restoration with FSP Gaussian

Fig. 6: Original Image

Fig. 9: Image restoration with FSP SINC

Fig. 7: Noisy Image with 2 = 0.2 (speckle & Gaussian noise). Fig. 10: Image restoration with FSP triangular

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quantitative appreciation to analyze the improved method computing. ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The first author would like to thank at PROMEP and the FIEC Veracruz University for the support of this investigation with the project number NPTC-UV-484.

[1] K. R. Erikson, F. J. Fry and J. P. Jones, Ultrasound in medicine A review, IEEE Trans. on Sonics and Ultrasonics, vol. SU-21, no. 3, pp. 144-170, July 1974. J. U. Quistgaard, Signal acquisition and processing in medical diagnostic ultrasound, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, pp. 6774, January 1997. K. Najarian and R. Splinter, Biomedical Signal and Image Processing. New York: CRC Taylor & Francis, 2007. J. Jan, Medical Image Processing Reconstruction and Restoration Concept and Methods. Florida U.S.A.: CRC Taylor & Francis, 2006. P. Juang and M. Wu, Ultrasound speckle image process using Wiener pseudo-inverse filtering, Proceeding of the 33rd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, pp. 24462449, Taiwan, November 5-8, 2007. L. J. Morales-Mendoza, Y. Shmaliy, O. G. Ibarra-Manzano, An analysis of hybrid FIR structures in applications to ultrasound image processing, Proceeding of the 1st International Conference on Computational and Information Science (WSEAS), pp. 192196, Houston, TX. USA, April 30 May 2, 2009. L. J. Morales-Mendoza and Y. S. Shmaliy, Moving average hybrid filter to the enhancing ultrasound image processing IEEE Trans. on Latin America, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 9-16, March 2010. L. J. Morales-Mendoza, Y. S. Shmaliy, R. F. Vazquez-Bautista and O. G. Ibarra-Manzano, Smoothing of ultrasound images with the p-lag FIR Structures, Proceeding of the 10th International Conference on Signal Processing (WSEAS), pp. 47-52, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, May 27-29, 2011. R. Vanithamani, G. Umamaheswari and M. Ezhilarasi, Modified hybrid median filter for effective speckle reduction in ultrasound images, Proceeding of the Recent Advances in Networking, VLSI and Signal Processing (WSEAS), pp. 166-171, Cambridge UK, February 20-22, 2010. W. Yeoh and C. Zhang, Constrained least square filtering algorithm for ultrasound image deconvolution, IEEE Trans. on biomedical Engineering, vol. 53, no. 10, pp. 2001-2007, October 2006. M. R. Banham and A. K. Katsaggelos, Digital Image restoration, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, pp. 24-41, March 2004. L. J. Morales-Mendoza, Unified of Regularization and Variational Analysis Methods to Reconstructive Image & signal Processing Approximation based on Robust Neural Networks Ph.D. dissertation, Telecommunication Department, CINVESTAV Guadalajara Unit, Mxico, 2006. C. Wen and C. Lee, Point spread function and their applications to forensic image restoration, Forensic Science Journal, pp. 1522, 2002. D. M. Etter, A. O. Steinhardt and S. L. Stoner, Least squares adaptive processing in military applications, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, pp. 66-73, May 2002. D. A. Guenther and F. W. Walker, Optimal apodization design for medical ultrasound using CLS Part I: Theory, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonic, Ferroelectric, and Frequency Control, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 332-342, February 2007. D. A. Guenther and F. W. Walker, Optimal apodization design for medical ultrasound using CLS Part II: Simulation results, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonic, Ferroelectric, and Frequency Control, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 343-358, February 2007.


[3] Fig. 11: Image restoration with FSP Bessel [4]





[9] Fig. 12: Image restoration with FSP Pulse TABLE I QUANTITATIVE EVALUATIONS [10]

Gaussian SINC Triangular Bessel Pulse

MSE 8.5206 12.6699 11.4251 7.3757 5.9745

SNR(dB) 5.4556 2.0095 2.9078 6.6046 7.6754

[11] [12]


VII. CONCLUSIONS The filtered ultrasound images showed by Fig. 8Fig. 10, represents the classical image processing where the qualitative analysis is inconsistent, i.e., the filtered images preserve the noised data and poor resolution. On the other hand, the enhanced images by Fig. 11-Fig. 12, based on the first-order Bessel and the Pulse functions proving the reduction of speckle noise into renal ultrasound image. In addition, the metrics summary described in Table I, offer a




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[17] H. Liebgott, J. E. Wilhjelm, J. A. Jensen, D. Vray and P. Delachartre, PSF dedicated to estimation of displacement vectors for tissue elasticity imaging with ultrasound, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonic, Ferroelectric, and Frequency Control, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 746-756, April 2007. [18] D. Levine, Ultrasound Clinics, Elsevier, Boston USA, 2007. [19] K. Singh & N. Malhotra, Step-by-Step Ultrasound in Obstetrics, Mc-Graw Hill, 2004. [20] M. R. Banham, A. K. Katsaggelos, Digital Image Restoration, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, March 1997. L. J. Morales-Mendoza, was born in Veracruz, Mexico, 1974. He received the B.S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Veracruz University in 2001, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Guanajuato University, Mexico, 2002, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Research Center (Cinvestav) of the National Polytechnical Institute of Mexico in 2006. From 2006 to 2009, he had been with the Electronics Department of the Guanajuato University of Mexico as an assistant Professor. He is currently a Professor of the FIEC of the Veracruz University of Mexico. His scientific interests are in the artificial Neural Networks applied to Optimization Problems, Image Restoration and Enhancing, and Ultrasound Image Processing. He has authored and co-authored more of the 45 Journal and Conference papers. R. F. Vzquez-Bautista, received the B.S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Veracruz University; the M. Eng. in Electrical Engineering from Guanajuato University; and Ph.D. degree by CINVESTAV, Guadalajara in 2000, 2002 and 2006, respectively. From 2007 to 2009, he had been with the ITESM, Campus Guadalajara as an assistant Professor. Nowadays, He is a Veracruz Universitys full Professor in FIEC, Campus Poza Rica. His research interests are Digital Signal and Image Processing, Data and Sensor Fusion, Biomedical Applications and Embedded Systems


E. Morales-Mendoza, was born in Veracruz, Mxico, 1969. He received the B. S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Veracruz University in 1993. M. S. in Computational Science from Engineering Institute of Veracruz University in 2005. Currently, he is a PhD. Student in Education from Veracruz Institute of High Education. From 1995, he is professor of the FIEC of the Veracruz University of Mxico. His research interests are the Application of the Education in the Engineering, Numerical methods for applications in Education. He has authored and co-authored more of the 4 International Conference papers. M. Gonzlez-Lee, was born in Veracruz, Mxico, 1976. He Received the BS Degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Veracruz in 1999; the MS degree in Microelectronics Engineering and the PhD in Communications and Electronics from the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering School of The National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico in 2001 and 2005, respectively. In October 2009 he joined the Graduate Studies and Research Section of The Mechanical and Electrical Engineering School Culhuacan Campus, of the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico where he is now a Professor. His principal research interests are pattern recognition, biometrics, watermarking, steganography and related fields. He has authored and co-authored more of the 16 Journal and Conference papers. J. Reyes-Garca, is a student of B.S. degree.

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