ISSN: 0970-938X (Print) | 0976-1683 (Electronic)

Biomedical Research

An International Journal of Medical Sciences


Optimized maximum principal curvatures based segmentation of blood vessels from retinal images

In retinal image of the human eye, extracting tree shaped retinal vasculature is an important feature which helps eye care specialists or ophthalmologists to pursue proper diagnostic procedures. In this paper, an approach named Optimized Maximum Principal Curvatures Based (OPCB) segmentation is been proposed for efficient extraction of blood vessels from retinal fundus images. This algorithm proceeds into two stages. Firstly, pre-processing on input retinal images is done by Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) technique which is an automatic process for computing the global optimum pixels of the image in order to avoid working with all or random pixels. Later, these optimal pixels are made to undergo further processing with Gaussian Filter to remove the noisy pixels among them. Secondly, the post-processing is carried out in four steps: (i)Maximum Principal Curvatures (maximum-eigenvalues) of the second order derivative matrix (Hessian) quantity of the pre-processed PSO image are computed by using ‘Lambda Function’, which then does region growing of the tree-shaped blood vessels by convolving Maximum Principal Curvatures with the mathematical erosion structuring element of. (ii)After extraction of blood vessels, section-wise contrast enhancement is performed by using Adaptive Histogram Equalization that work on 8x8 tiles of image being segmented for smoothing artificially introduced boundaries if any, and also for eliminating over amplified noise. (iii) ISODATA (Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique) thresholding is used to classify the image globally where the image’s foreground vascular structure is segmented from the background. (iv) A ‘morphologically opened’ operation is performed to prune falsely segmented isolated regions, to achieve very accurate segmentation. This proposed technique tested online available colored retinal images of STARE and DRIVE databases. As an outcome, the proposed approach achieves the superior segmentation accuracy of 96% which outperformed many empirically proven segmentation methods which were proposed in the past.

Author(s): Santosh Kumar NC, Radhika Y
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