Segmentation of retinal blood vessels by combining the detection of centerlines and morphological reconstruction

Ana Maria Mendonça, Aurélio Campilho
IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2006, 25 (9): 1200-13
This paper presents an automated method for the segmentation of the vascular network in retinal images. The algorithm starts with the extraction of vessel centerlines, which are used as guidelines for the subsequent vessel filling phase. For this purpose, the outputs of four directional differential operators are processed in order to select connected sets of candidate points to be further classified as centerline pixels using vessel derived features. The final segmentation is obtained using an iterative region growing method that integrates the contents of several binary images resulting from vessel width dependent morphological filters. Our approach was tested on two publicly available databases and its results are compared with recently published methods. The results demonstrate that our algorithm outperforms other solutions and approximates the average accuracy of a human observer without a significant degradation of sensitivity and specificity.

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