Abstract

The enhancement of optical coherence tomography (OCT) skin images can help dermatologists investigate the morphologic information of the images more effectively. In this paper, we propose an enhancement algorithm with the stages that includes speckle reduction, skin layer detection, and attenuation compensation. A weighted median filter is designed to reduce the level of speckle while preserving the contrast. A novel skin layer detection technique is then applied to outline the main skin layers: stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis. The skin layer detection algorithm does not make any assumption about the structure of the skin. A model of the light attenuation is then used to estimate the attenuation coefficient of the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis layers. The performance of the algorithm has been evaluated qualitatively based on visual evaluation and quantitatively using two no-reference quality metrics: signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio. The enhancement algorithm is tested on 35 different skin OCT images, which show significant improvements in the quality of the images, especially in the structures at deeper levels.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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