Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, ( ISI ), Volume (37), No (7), Year (2013-9) , Pages (607-617)

Title : ( Automated characterization of blood vessels as arteries and veins in retinal images )

Authors: Qazaleh Mirsharif , Farshad Tajeripour , Hamid Reza Pourreza ,

Citation: BibTeX | EndNote


In recent years researchers have found that alternations in arterial or venular tree of the retinal vasculature are associated with several public health problems such as diabetic retinopathy which is also the leading cause of blindness in the world. A prerequisite for automated assessment of subtle changes in arteries and veins, is to accurately separate those vessels from each other. This is a difficult task due to high similarity between arteries and veins in addition to variation of color and non-uniform illumination inter and intra retinal images. In this paper a novel structural and automated method is presented for artery/vein classification of blood vessels in retinal images. The proposed method consists of three main steps. In the first step, several image enhancement techniques are employed to improve the images. Then a specific feature extraction process is applied to separate major arteries from veins. Indeed, vessels are divided to smaller segments and feature extraction and vessel classification are applied to each small vessel segment instead of each vessel point. Finally, a post processing step is added to improve the results obtained from the previous step using structural characteristics of the retinal vascular network. In the last stage, vessel features at intersection and bifurcation points are processed for detection of arterial and venular sub trees. Ultimately vessel labels are revised by publishing the dominant label through each identified connected tree of arteries or veins. Evaluation of the proposed approach against two different datasets of retinal images including DRIVE database demonstrates the good performance and robustness of the method. The proposed method may be used for determination of arteriolar to venular diameter ratio in retinal images. Also the proposed method potentially allows for further investigation of labels of thinner arteries and veins which might be found by tracing them back to the major vessels.


, Artery/vein classification, Blood vessels, Retinal images, Retinex image enhancement, Feature extraction Structural features
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author = {Qazaleh Mirsharif and Farshad Tajeripour and Pourreza, Hamid Reza},
title = {Automated characterization of blood vessels as arteries and veins in retinal images},
journal = {Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics},
year = {2013},
volume = {37},
number = {7},
month = {September},
issn = {0895-6111},
pages = {607--617},
numpages = {10},
keywords = {Artery/vein classification; Blood vessels; Retinal images; Retinex image enhancement; Feature extraction Structural features},


%0 Journal Article
%T Automated characterization of blood vessels as arteries and veins in retinal images
%A Qazaleh Mirsharif
%A Farshad Tajeripour
%A Pourreza, Hamid Reza
%J Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics
%@ 0895-6111
%D 2013