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Proceedings Paper

Contrast enhancement of subcutaneous blood vessel images by means of visible and near-infrared hyper-spectral imaging
Author(s): Jaka Katrašnik; Miran Bürmen; Franjo Pernuš; Boštjan Likar
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Paper Abstract

Visualization of subcutaneous veins is very difficult with the naked eye, but important for diagnosis of medical conditions and different medical procedures such as catheter insertion and blood withdrawal. Moreover, recent studies showed that the images of subcutaneous veins could be used for biometric identification. The majority of methods used for enhancing the contrast between the subcutaneous veins and surrounding tissue are based on simple imaging systems utilizing CMOS or CCD cameras with LED illumination capable of acquiring images from the near infrared spectral region, usually near 900 nm. However, such simplified imaging methods cannot exploit the full potential of the spectral information. In this paper, a new highly versatile method for enhancing the contrast of subcutaneous veins based on state-of-the-art high-resolution hyper-spectral imaging system utilizing the spectral region from 550 to 1700 nm is presented. First, a detailed analysis of the contrast between the subcutaneous veins and the surrounding tissue as a function of wavelength, for several different positions on the human arm, was performed in order to extract the spectral regions with the highest contrast. The highest contrast images were acquired at 1100 nm, however, combining the individual images from the extracted spectral regions by the proposed contrast enhancement method resulted in a single image with up to ten-fold better contrast. Therefore, the proposed method has proved to be a useful tool for visualization of subcutaneous veins.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7259, Medical Imaging 2009: Image Processing, 725927 (27 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.812438
Show Author Affiliations
Jaka Katrašnik, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Miran Bürmen, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Franjo Pernuš, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Sensum, Computer Vision Systems (Slovenia)
Boštjan Likar, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Sensum, Computer Vision Systems (Slovenia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7259:
Medical Imaging 2009: Image Processing
Josien P. W. Pluim; Benoit M. Dawant, Editor(s)

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