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Automatic adaptive enhancement for images obtained with fiberscopic endoscopes

: Winter, C.; Rupp, S.; Elter, M.; Münzenmayer, C.; Gerhäuser, H.; Wittenberg, T.


IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering BME 53 (2006), Nr.10, S.2035-2046
ISSN: 0018-9294
ISSN: 1558-2531
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Modern techniques for medical diagnostics and therapy in keyhole surgery scenarios as well as technical inspection make use of flexible endoscopes. Their characteristic bendable image conductor consists of a very limited number of coated fibers, which leads to so-called comb structure. This effect has a negative impact on further image processing steps such as feature tracking because these overlaid image structures are wrongly detected as image features. With respect to these tasks, we propose an automatic approach to generate optimal spectral filter masks for enhancement of fiberscopic images. We apply the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem to the spectrum of fiberscopically acquired images to obtain parameters for optimal filter mask calculation. This can be done automatically and independently of scale and resolution of the image conductor as well as type and resolution of the image sensor. We designed and verified simple rotation invariant masks as well as star-shaped rotation variant masks that contain information about orientation between the fiberscope and sensor. A subjective survey among experts between different modes of filtering certified the best results to the adapted star-shaped mask for high-quality glass fiberscopes. We furthermore define an objective metric to evaluate the results of different filter approaches, which verifies the results of the subjective survey. The proposed approach enables the automated reduction of fiberscopic comb structure. It is adaptive to arbitrary endoscope and sensor combinations. The results give the prospect of a large field of possible applications to reduce fiberscopic structure both for visual optimization in clinical environments and for further digital imaging tasks.