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A Retinal Image Enhancement Technique for Blood Vessel Segmentation Algorithm

ABSTRACT

The morphology of blood vessels in retinal fundus images is an important indicator of diseases like glaucoma, hypertension and diabetic retinopathy. The accuracy of retinal blood vessels segmentation affects the quality of retinal image analysis which is used in diagnosis methods in modern ophthalmology. Contrast enhancement is one of the crucial steps in any of retinal blood vessel segmentation approaches. The reliability of the segmentation depends on the consistency of the contrast over the image. This paper presents an assessment of the suitability of a recently invented spatially adaptive contrast enhancement technique for enhancing retinal fundus images for blood vessel segmentation. The enhancement technique was integrated with a variant of Tyler Coye algorithm, which has been improved with Hough line transformation based vessel reconstruction method. The proposed approach was evaluated on two public datasets STARE and DRIVE. The assessment was done by comparing the segmentation performance with five widely used contrast enhancement techniques based on wavelet transform, contrast limited histogram equalization, local normalization, linear un-sharp masking and contourlet transform. The results revealed that the assessed enhancement technique is well suited for the application and also outperforms all compared techniques.