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Proceedings Paper

Course tracking and contour extraction of retinal vessels from color fundus photographs: most efficient use of steerable filters for model-based image analysis
Author(s): Bianca Kochner; Dietrich Schuhmann; Markus Michaelis; Gerd Mann; Karl-Hans Englmeier
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Paper Abstract

To support ophthalmologists in their daily routine and enable the quantitative assessment of vascular changes in color fundus photographs vessel extraction techniques have been improved. Within a model based approach steerable filters have been tested for efficient and precise segmentation of the vessel tree. The global model comprises the detection of the optic disc, the finding of starting points close to the optic disc, the tracking of the vessel course, the extraction of the vessel contour and the identification of branching points. This helps evaluating image quality and pathological changes to the retina and thus, improves diagnosis and therapy. The optic disc location is estimated and then more precisely extracted with the help of a hierarchical filter scheme based on first- order gaussian kernels at varying orientations. Vessel points are automatically identified around the optic disc and the vessel course is tracked in the actual direction by second-order gaussian kernels at varying orientations and scales. Using this backbone, differently oriented first- order gaussian kernels approximate the vessel contour. Thus, the direction and diameter of each vessel segment are determined. Steerable filters enable most efficient implementation. The developed methods have been applied to color fundus photographs showing different levels of diabetic retinopathy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 June 1998
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3338, Medical Imaging 1998: Image Processing, (24 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.310955
Show Author Affiliations
Bianca Kochner, National Research Ctr. for Environment and Health (Germany)
Dietrich Schuhmann, National Research Ctr. for Environment and Health (Germany)
Markus Michaelis, National Research Ctr. for Environment and Health (Germany)
Gerd Mann, National Research Ctr. for Environment and Health (Germany)
Karl-Hans Englmeier, National Research Ctr. for Environment and Health (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3338:
Medical Imaging 1998: Image Processing
Kenneth M. Hanson, Editor(s)

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