Ultrasound Image Enhancement using CycleGAN and Perceptual Loss

Purpose: The objective of this work is to introduce an advanced framework designed to enhance ultrasound images, especially those captured by portable hand-held devices, which often produce lower quality images due to hardware constraints. Additionally, this framework is uniquely capable of effectively handling non-registered input ultrasound image pairs, addressing a common challenge in medical imaging. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, we utilized an enhanced generative adversarial network (CycleGAN) model for ultrasound image enhancement across five organ systems. Perceptual loss, derived from deep features of pretrained neural networks, is applied to ensure the human-perceptual quality of the enhanced images. These images are compared with paired images acquired from high resolution devices to demonstrate the model's ability to generate realistic high-quality images across organ systems. Results: Preliminary validation of the framework reveals promising performance metrics. The model generates images that result in a Structural Similarity Index (SSI) score of 0.722, Locally Normalized Cross-Correlation (LNCC) score of 0.902 and 28.802 for the Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR) metric. Conclusion: This work presents a significant advancement in medical imaging through the development of a CycleGAN model enhanced with Perceptual Loss (PL), effectively bridging the quality gap between ultrasound images from varied devices. By training on paired images, the model not only improves image quality but also ensures the preservation of vital anatomic structural content. This approach may improve equity in access to healthcare by enhancing portable device capabilities, although further validation and optimizations are necessary for broader clinical application.

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