Measurement of retinal vessel widths from fundus images based on 2-D modeling

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2004 Oct;23(10):1196-204. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2004.830524.


Changes in retinal vessel diameter are an important sign of diseases such as hypertension, arteriosclerosis and diabetes mellitus. Obtaining precise measurements of vascular widths is a critical and demanding process in automated retinal image analysis as the typical vessel is only a few pixels wide. This paper presents an algorithm to measure the vessel diameter to subpixel accuracy. The diameter measurement is based on a two-dimensional difference of Gaussian model, which is optimized to fit a two-dimensional intensity vessel segment. The performance of the method is evaluated against Brinchmann-Hansen's half height, Gregson's rectangular profile and Zhou's Gaussian model. Results from 100 sample profiles show that the presented algorithm is over 30% more precise than the compared techniques and is accurate to a third of a pixel.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional / methods*
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Simulation
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted