In this paper we present a class of order statistic filters named adaptive vector median. These filters generalize the median by using the concept of the median vector. The principal advantage of using median vectors is a significant reduction of computation. The proposed filter uses an adaptive algorithm that examines whether individual pixels are contaminated by impulsive noise, and if not, no filtering is performed on these pixels. The combination of the vector median and the adaptive algorithm results in a computationally efficient filter that preserves much of the image fine detail while removing impulsive noise, and also avoids alteration of noise-free images. Computer simulation results and comparisons with other filters are presented.