Diffusion Models for Medical Image Analysis: A Comprehensive Survey

by   Amirhossein Kazerouni, et al.

Denoising diffusion models, a class of generative models, have garnered immense interest lately in various deep-learning problems. A diffusion probabilistic model defines a forward diffusion stage where the input data is gradually perturbed over several steps by adding Gaussian noise and then learns to reverse the diffusion process to retrieve the desired noise-free data from noisy data samples. Diffusion models are widely appreciated for their strong mode coverage and quality of the generated samples despite their known computational burdens. Capitalizing on the advances in computer vision, the field of medical imaging has also observed a growing interest in diffusion models. To help the researcher navigate this profusion, this survey intends to provide a comprehensive overview of diffusion models in the discipline of medical image analysis. Specifically, we introduce the solid theoretical foundation and fundamental concepts behind diffusion models and the three generic diffusion modelling frameworks: diffusion probabilistic models, noise-conditioned score networks, and stochastic differential equations. Then, we provide a systematic taxonomy of diffusion models in the medical domain and propose a multi-perspective categorization based on their application, imaging modality, organ of interest, and algorithms. To this end, we cover extensive applications of diffusion models in the medical domain. Furthermore, we emphasize the practical use case of some selected approaches, and then we discuss the limitations of the diffusion models in the medical domain and propose several directions to fulfill the demands of this field. Finally, we gather the overviewed studies with their available open-source implementations at https://github.com/amirhossein-kz/Awesome-Diffusion-Models-in-Medical-Imaging.


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