Non-local means (NLM) filter is one of the state-of-the-art denoising filters. It exploits the presence of similar features in an image and averages those similar features to remove noise. However, a conventional NLM filter shows somewhat inferior performance of noise reduction around edges, suffering from low efficiency of collecting similar features to be averaged. In order to overcome this phenomenon, we propose a NLM filter with double Gaussian anisotropic kernels as a substitute for the conventional homogeneous kernel to effectively remove noise from OCT images corrupted by speckle noise. The proposed filter was evaluated by comparing with various denoising filters such as conventional NLM filter, median filter, bilateral filter, and Wiener filter. The fingertip OCT images, which were processed with the different denoising filters, indicated that the proposed NLM filter provides superior denoising performance, among the filters in terms of the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), the equivalent number of looks (ENL), and the speckle suppression index (SSI). A human retina OCT image was also used to compare and show the performances of noise reduction among different filters. In addition, the denoising performance with the proposed NLM filter was also investigated in the synthetic images for fair comparison among the filters by calculating the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR). The proposed NLM filter outperformed the conventional NLM filter as well as the other filters.
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