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Archivos de la Sociedad Española de Oftalmología

versión impresa ISSN 0365-6691


JIMENEZ, S. et al. Automatic detection of vessels in color fundus images. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol [online]. 2010, vol.85, n.3, pp.103-109. ISSN 0365-6691.

Purpose: The main purpose of the paper is to evaluate an automated method for blood vessels segmentation in color fundus images, due to its important role in the diagnosis of several pathologies such as diabetes. The final objective is to introduce the algorithm into a Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) tool that would be available in those local medical centers without specialists. Method: An automated method for blood vessels segmentation in color fundus images was implemented and tested. The algorithm starts with the extraction of vessel centerlines, which are used as guidelines for the subsequent vessel filling phase. The outputs of four directional differential operators are processed in order to select connected sets of candidate points to be further classified as centerline pixels using vessel derived features. The final segmentation is obtained using an iterative region growing method that integrates the contents of several binary images, resulting from vessel width dependent morphological filters. The method was evaluated using the images of two publicly available databases (STARE and DRIVE) and a database with 24 images. Results: The algorithm outperforms other published algorithms and approximates the average accuracy of a human observer without a significant degradation of sensitivity and specificity. In addition, results have been subject to the experts´ valuation that they think that retinal vessels remain represented with valuable accuracy on having analyzed the test´s images. Conclusion: Due to the good segmentation results, the algorithm proposed could be implemented as part of a complete CAD tool in the local medical centers. This would reduce cost and diagnosis time.

Palabras clave : Diabetic retinopathy; Computer-aided diagnosis; Computer data processing.

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