Optical coherence tomography (OCT) suffers from speckle noise due to the high spatial coherence of the utilized light source, leading to significant reductions in image quality and diagnostic capabilities. In the past, angular compounding techniques have been applied to suppress speckle noise. However, existing image registration methods usually guarantee pure angular compounding only within a relatively small field of view in the focal region, but produce spatial averaging in the other regions, resulting in resolution loss and image blur. This work develops an image registration model to correctly localize the real-space location of every pixel in an OCT image, for all depths. The registered images captured at different angles are fused into a speckle-reduced composite image. Digital focusing, based on the convolution of the complex OCT images and the conjugate of the point spread function (PSF), is studied to further enhance lateral resolution and contrast. As demonstrated by experiments, angular compounding with our improved image registration techniques and digital focusing, can effectively suppress speckle noise, enhance resolution and contrast, and reveal fine structures in ex-vivo imaged tissue.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-58454-0
View details for PubMedID 32024946