A framework for noise-power spectrum analysis of multidimensional images

J. H. Siewerdsen, I. A. Cunningham, D. A. Jaffray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


A methodological framework for experimental analysis of the noise-power spectrum (NPS) of multidimensional images is presented that employs well-known properties of the n-dimensional (nD) Fourier transform. The approach is generalized to n dimensions, reducing to familiar cases for n = 1 (e.g., time series) and n = 2 (e.g., projection radiography) and demonstrated experimentally for two cases in which n = 3 (viz., using an active matrix flat-panel imager for x-ray fluoroscopy and cone-beam CT to form three-dimensional (3D) images in spatiotemporal and volumetric domains, respectively). The relationship between fully nD NPS analysis and various techniques for analyzing a "central slice" of the NPS is formulated in a manner that is directly applicable to measured nD data, highlights the effects of correlation, and renders issues of NPS normalization transparent. The spatiotemporal NPS of fluoroscopic images is analyzed under varying conditions of temporal correlation (image lag) to investigate the degree to which the NPS is reduced by such correlation. For first-frame image lag of ∼5-8 %, the NPS is reduced by ∼20% compared to the lag-free case. A simple model is presented that results in an approximate rule of thumb for computing the effect of image lag on NPS under conditions of spatiotemporal separability. The volumetric NPS of cone-beam CT images is analyzed under varying conditions of spatial correlation, controlled by adjustment of the reconstruction filter. The volumetric NPS is found to be highly asymmetric, exhibiting a ramp characteristic in transverse planes (typical of filtered back-projection) and a band-limited characteristic in the longitudinal direction (resulting from low-pass characteristics of the imager). Such asymmetry could have implications regarding the detectability of structures visualized in transverse versus sagittal or coronal planes. In all cases, appreciation of the full dimensionality of the image data is essential to obtaining meaningful NPS results. The framework may be applied to NPS analysis of image data of arbitrary dimensionality provided the system satisfies conditions of NPS existence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2655-2671
Number of pages17
JournalMedical physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D imaging
  • 4D imaging
  • Computed tomography
  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Flat-panel imager
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Imaging performance
  • Multidimensional imaging
  • Noise-power spectrum
  • Radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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