Retina vascular network recognition

TitleRetina vascular network recognition
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsTascini G, Passerini G., Puliti P, Zingaretti P
Conference NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

The analysis of morphological and structural modifications of the retina vascular network is an interesting investigation method in the study of diabetes and hypertension. Normally this analysis is carried out by qualitative evaluations, according to standardized criteria, though medical research attaches great importance to quantitative analysis of vessel color, shape and dimensions. The paper describes a system which automatically segments and recognizes the ocular fundus circulation and micro circulation network, and extracts a set of features related to morphometric aspects of vessels. For this class of images the classical segmentation methods seem weak. We propose a computer vision system in which segmentation and recognition phases are strictly connected. The system is hierarchically organized in four modules. Firstly the Image Enhancement Module (IEM) operates a set of custom image enhancements to remove blur and to prepare data for subsequent segmentation and recognition processes. Secondly the Papilla Border Analysis Module (PBAM) automatically recognizes number, position and local diameter of blood vessels departing from optical papilla. Then the Vessel Tracking Module (VTM) analyses vessels comparing the results of body and edge tracking and detects branches and crossings. Finally the Feature Extraction Module evaluates PBAM and VTM output data and extracts some numerical indexes. Used algorithms appear to be robust and have been successfully tested on various ocular fundus images.