Microarrays are part of a new class of biotechnologies that allow the monitoring of expression levels for thousands of genes simultaneously. Image analysis is an important aspect of microarray experiments, one that can have a potentially large impact on subsequent analyses, such as clustering or the identification of differentially expressed genes. This paper reviews a number of existing image analysis methods used on cDNA microarray data. In particular, it describes and discusses the different segmentation and background adjustment methods. It was found that in some cases background adjustment can substantially reduce the precision--that is, increase the variability of low-intensity spot values. In contrast, the choice of segmentation procedure seems to have a smaller impact.