Retinal image quality assessment based on image clarity and content

J Biomed Opt. 2016 Sep 1;21(9):96007. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.21.9.096007.


Retinal image quality assessment (RIQA) is an essential step in automated screening systems to avoid misdiagnosis caused by processing poor quality retinal images. A no-reference transform-based RIQA algorithm is introduced that assesses images based on five clarity and content quality issues: sharpness, illumination, homogeneity, field definition, and content. Transform-based RIQA algorithms have the advantage of considering retinal structures while being computationally inexpensive. Wavelet-based features are proposed to evaluate the sharpness and overall illumination of the images. A retinal saturation channel is designed and used along with wavelet-based features for homogeneity assessment. The presented sharpness and illumination features are utilized to assure adequate field definition, whereas color information is used to exclude nonretinal images. Several publicly available datasets of varying quality grades are utilized to evaluate the feature sets resulting in area under the receiver operating characteristic curve above 0.99 for each of the individual feature sets. The overall quality is assessed by a classifier that uses the collective features as an input vector. The classification results show superior performance of the algorithm in comparison to other methods from literature. Moreover, the algorithm addresses efficiently and comprehensively various quality issues and is suitable for automatic screening systems.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wavelet Analysis