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Proceedings Paper

Comparative study of retinal vessel segmentation methods on a new publicly available database
Author(s): Meindert Niemeijer; Joes Staal; Bram van Ginneken; Marco Loog; Michael D. Abramoff
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Paper Abstract

In this work we compare the performance of a number of vessel segmentation algorithms on a newly constructed retinal vessel image database. Retinal vessel segmentation is important for the detection of numerous eye diseases and plays an important role in automatic retinal disease screening systems. A large number of methods for retinal vessel segmentation have been published, yet an evaluation of these methods on a common database of screening images has not been performed. To compare the performance of retinal vessel segmentation methods we have constructed a large database of retinal images. The database contains forty images in which the vessel trees have been manually segmented. For twenty of those forty images a second independent manual segmentation is available. This allows for a comparison between the performance of automatic methods and the performance of a human observer. The database is available to the research community. Interested researchers are encouraged to upload their segmentation results to our website ( The performance of five different algorithms has been compared. Four of these methods have been implemented as described in the literature. The fifth pixel classification based method was developed specifically for the segmentation of retinal vessels and is the only supervised method in this test. We define the segmentation accuracy with respect to our gold standard as the performance measure. Results show that the pixel classification method performs best, but the second observer still performs significantly better.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5370, Medical Imaging 2004: Image Processing, (12 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.535349
Show Author Affiliations
Meindert Niemeijer, Univ. Medical Ctr. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Vrije Univ. Medical Ctr. (Netherlands)
Joes Staal, Univ. Medical Ctr. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Bram van Ginneken, Univ. Medical Ctr. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Marco Loog, Univ. Medical Ctr. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Michael D. Abramoff, Univ. Medical Ctr. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Vrije Univ. Medical Ctr. (Netherlands)
Univ. of Iowa (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5370:
Medical Imaging 2004: Image Processing
J. Michael Fitzpatrick; Milan Sonka, Editor(s)

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