3-D Convolutional Encoder-Decoder Network for Low-Dose CT via Transfer Learning From a 2-D Trained Network.IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2018; 37(6):1522-1534IT
Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) has attracted major attention in the medical imaging field, since CT-associated X-ray radiation carries health risks for patients. The reduction of the CT radiation dose, however, compromises the signal-to-noise ratio, which affects image quality and diagnostic performance. Recently, deep-learning-based algorithms have achieved promising results in LDCT denoising, especially convolutional neural network (CNN) and generative adversarial network (GAN) architectures. This paper introduces a conveying path-based convolutional encoder-decoder (CPCE) network in 2-D and 3-D configurations within the GAN framework for LDCT denoising. A novel feature of this approach is that an initial 3-D CPCE denoising model can be directly obtained by extending a trained 2-D CNN, which is then fine-tuned to incorporate 3-D spatial information from adjacent slices. Based on the transfer learning from 2-D to 3-D, the 3-D network converges faster and achieves a better denoising performance when compared with a training from scratch. By comparing the CPCE network with recently published work based on the simulated Mayo data set and the real MGH data set, we demonstrate that the 3-D CPCE denoising model has a better performance in that it suppresses image noise and preserves subtle structures.