An Automated Image Segmentation and Useful Feature Extraction Algorithm for Retinal Blood Vessels in Fundus Images

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Abdulsahib A.A.
Mahmoud M.A.
Aris H.
Gunasekaran S.S.
Mohammed M.A.
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The manual segmentation of the blood vessels in retinal images has numerous limitations. It is very time consuming and prone to human error, particularly with a very twisted structure of the blood vessel and a vast number of retinal images that needs to be analysed. Therefore, an automatic algorithm for segmenting and extracting useful clinical features from the retinal blood vessels is critical to help ophthalmologists and eye specialists to diagnose different retinal diseases and to assess early treatment. An accurate, rapid, and fully automatic blood vessel segmentation and clinical features measurement algorithm for retinal fundus images is proposed to improve the diagnosis precision and decrease the workload of the ophthalmologists. The main pipeline of the proposed algorithm is composed of two essential stages: image segmentation and clinical features extraction stage. Several comprehensive experiments were carried out to assess the performance of the developed fully automated segmentation algorithm in detecting the retinal blood vessels using two extremely challenging fundus images datasets, named the DRIVE and HRF. Initially, the accuracy of the proposed algorithm was evaluated in terms of adequately detecting the retinal blood vessels. In these experiments, five quantitative performances were measured and calculated to validate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm, which consist of the Acc., Sen., Spe., PPV, and NPV measures compared with current state-of-the-art vessel segmentation approaches on the DRIVE dataset. The results obtained showed a significantly improvement by achieving an Acc., Sen., Spe., PPV, and NPV of 99.55%, 99.93%, 99.09%, 93.45%, and 98.89, respectively. � 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.