Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




Medical image analysis, especially of the retina, plays an important role in diagnostic decision support tools. The properties of retinal blood vessels are used for disease diagnoses such as diabetes, glaucoma, and hypertension. There are some challenges in the utilization of retinal blood vessel patterns such as low contrast and intensity inhomogeneities. Thus, an automatic algorithm for vessel extraction is required. Active contour is a strong method for edge extraction. However, it cannot extract thin vessels and ridges very well. In this research, we propose an improved active contour method that uses discrete wavelet transform for energy minimization to solve this problem. The minimization formula terminates segmentation into two regions, foreground and background. We found out that foreground pixels are more important than background. Therefore, we change the minimization formulation in such a way that gives more weight to the foreground. The contour edge has orientation in each region. The wavelet terms in the minimization formula help to detect edge direction in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal orientations. Since bright and dark lesions do not have direction, these terms can decrease false vessel detection. The second part of the innovation is called the optimization process, which works instead of reinitialization. Sometimes, the evolution in the iterated process destroys the stability of the evolution. To prevent the destruction of the stability of evolution, we used an optimization process formula whose task is to keep contour on the edges of the image. The performance of the proposed algorithms is compared and analyzed on five databases. The values achieved are 94.3%, 73.36%, and 97.41% for accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, respectively, on the DRIVE dataset, and the proposed algorithm is comparable to the state-of-the-art approaches.


Retinal vasculature, blood vessel extraction, active contour, Chan-Vese, retinal image segmentation

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