Locating the fovea center position in digital fundus images using thresholding and feature extraction techniques

Manuel E Gegundez-Arias, Diego Marin, Jose M Bravo, Angel Suero
Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics: the Official Journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society 2013, 37 (5-6): 386-93
A new methodology for detecting the fovea center position in digital retinal images is presented in this paper. A pixel is firstly searched for within the foveal region according to its known anatomical position relative to the optic disc and vascular tree. Then, this pixel is used to extract a fovea-containing subimage on which thresholding and feature extraction techniques are applied so as to find fovea center. The methodology was evaluated on 1200 fundus images from the publicly available MESSIDOR database, 660 of which present signs of diabetic retinopathy. In 93.92% of these images, the distance between the methodology-provided and actual fovea center position remained below 1/4 of one standard optic disc radius (i.e., 17, 26, and 27 pixels for MESSIDOR retinas of 910, 1380 and 1455 pixels in size, respectively). These results outperform all the reviewed methodologies available in literature. Its effectiveness and robustness with different illness conditions makes this proposal suitable for retinal image computer analyses such as automated screening for early diabetic retinopathy detection.


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