StruNet: Perceptual and low-rank regularized transformer for medical image denoising

Yuhui Ma, Qifeng Yan, Yonghuai Liu, Jiang Liu, Jiong Zhang, Yitian Zhao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Various types of noise artifacts inevitably exist in some medical imaging modalities due to limitations of imaging techniques, which impair either clinical diagnosis or subsequent analysis. Recently, deep learning approaches have been rapidly developed and applied on medical images for noise removal or image quality enhancement. Nevertheless, due to complexity and diversity of noise distribution representations in different medical imaging modalities, most of the existing deep learning frameworks are incapable to flexibly remove noise artifacts while retaining detailed information. As a result, it remains challenging to design an effective and unified medical image denoising method that will work across a variety of noise artifacts for different imaging modalities without requiring specialized knowledge in performing the task. Purpose: In this paper, we propose a novel encoder-decoder architecture called Swin transformer-based residual u-shape Network (StruNet), for medical image denoising. Methods: Our StruNet adopts a well-designed block as the backbone of the encoder-decoder architecture, which integrates Swin Transformer modules with residual block in parallel connection. Swin Transformer modules could effectively learn hierarchical representations of noise artifacts via self-attention mechanism in non-overlapping shifted windows and cross-window connection, while residual block is advantageous to compensate loss of detailed information via shortcut connection. Furthermore, perceptual loss and low-rank regularization are incorporated into loss function respectively in order to constrain the denoising results on feature-level consistency and low-rank characteristics. Results: To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we have conducted experiments on three medical imaging modalities including computed tomography (CT), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the proposed architecture yields a promising performance of suppressing multiform noise artifacts existing in different imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7654-7669
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Swin transformer
  • low-rank regularization
  • medical image denoising
  • perceptual loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'StruNet: Perceptual and low-rank regularized transformer for medical image denoising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this