Endovascular optical coherence tomography (EV-OCT) is an emerging intravascular imaging technique for observing blood vessel walls. Fluctuating speckle noise, especially during rapid pull-back, can severely degrade the visibility of morphological structures. Moreover, the speckle pattern varies in different parts of the image due to beam divergence and is further complicated by interpolation through the coordinate transformation necessary for displaying the rotary scanning images, challenging the use of frequency domain analysis. In this study, a computationally efficient method using a generalized divergence regularization procedure is presented to suppress speckle noise in EV-OCT images. Results show substantial smoothing of the grainy appearance and enhanced visualization of deeper structures as demonstrated in porcine carotid arteries.
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