Automated quantification of retinal arteriovenous nicking from colour fundus images

Conference Paper

Retinal arteriovenous nicking (AV nicking) is the phenomenon where the venule is compressed or decreases in its caliber at both sides of an arteriovenous crossing. Recent research suggests that retinal AVN is associated with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. In this article, we propose a computer method for assessing the severity level of AV nicking of an artery-vein (AV) crossing in color retinal images. The vascular network is first extracted using a method based on multi-scale line detection. A trimming process is then performed to isolate the main vessels from unnecessary structures such as small branches or imaging artefact. Individual segments of each vessel are then identified and the vein is recognized through an artery-vein identification process. A vessel width measurement method is devised to measure the venular caliber along its two segments. The vessel width measurements of each venular segment is then analyzed and assessed separately and the final AVN index of a crossover is computed as the most severity of its two segments. The proposed technique was validated on 69 AV crossover points of varying AV nicking levels extracted from retinal images of the Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES). The results show that the computed AVN values are highly correlated with the manual grading with a Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.70. This has demonstrated the accuracy of the proposed method and the feasibility to develop a computer method for automatic AV nicking detection. The quantitative measurements provided by the system may help to establish a more reliable link between AV nicking and known systemic and eye diseases, which deserves further examination and exploration. © 2013 IEEE.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nguyen, UTV; Bhuiyan, A; Park, LAF; Kawasaki, R; Wong, TY; Wang, JJ; Mitchell, P; Ramamohanarao, K

Published Date

  • October 31, 2013

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 5865 - 5868

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1557-170X

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781457702167

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610886

Citation Source

  • Scopus