Automatic blood vessel segmentation in color images of retina



Automated image processing techniques have the ability to assist in the early detection of diabetic retinopathy disease which can be regarded as a manifestation of diabetes on the retina. Blood vessel segmentation is the basic foundation while developing retinal screening systems, since vessels serve as one of the main retinal landmark features. This paper proposes an automated method for identification of blood vessels in color images of the retina. For every image pixel, a feature vector is computed that utilizes properties of scale and orientation selective Gabor filters. The extracted features are then classified using generative Gaussian mixture model and discriminative support vector machines classifiers. Experimental results demonstrate that the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve reached a value 0.974, which is highly comparable and, to some extent, higher than the previously reported ROCs that range from 0.787 to 0.961. Moreover, this method gives a sensitivity of 96.50% with a specificity of 97.10% for identification of blood vessels