A novel method for retinal exudate segmentation using signal separation algorithm

Elaheh Imani, Hamid-Reza Pourreza
Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 2016, 133: 195-205
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the major causes of blindness in the world. Early diagnosis of this disease is vital to the prevention of visual loss. The analysis of retinal lesions such as exudates, microaneurysms and hemorrhages is a prerequisite to detect diabetic disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and macular edema in fundus images. This paper presents an automatic method for the detection of retinal exudates. The novelty of this method lies in the use of Morphological Component Analysis (MCA) algorithm to separate lesions from normal retinal structures to facilitate the detection process. In the first stage, vessels are separated from lesions using the MCA algorithm with appropriate dictionaries. Then, the lesion part of retinal image is prepared for the detection of exudate regions. The final exudate map is created using dynamic thresholding and mathematical morphologies. Performance of the proposed method is measured on the three publicly available DiaretDB, HEI-MED and e-ophtha datasets. Accordingly, the AUC of 0.961 and 0.948 and 0.937 is achieved respectively, which are greater than most of the state-of-the-art methods.

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