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Detection of Retinal Blood Vessel using Kirsch algorithm
Nithin N, Anupkumar M Bongale and Jayakrishna R
Abstract—This paper presents a new method for detecting and extracting blood vessels in retinal fundus images using Kirsch edge detection algorithm. We have used the gold standard public database which contains retinal images of healthy patients, patients with diabetic retinopathy and glaucomatous patients. The performance of the proposed technique is evaluated based on whether the blood vessel is properly detected or not. We have considered estimated positive value (Ep) and estimated negative value (En) as evaluation parameters and obtained considerably good results. The segmentation technique is very simple and found effective and robust with different image conditions. Index Terms—Retinal blood vessel, Kirsch algorithm, segmentation, edge detection

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1 INTRODUCTION
ETINOPATHY is a form of acute damage to the retina of the eye. If the patient prolongs the treatment of diseased eye, it may lead to vascular remodelling. Disorders like diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis etc. can affect the structure of the blood vessel of eyes. Diabetes, hypertension and retinopathy leads to variations in shape and dimension on retina [1-3]. Examination of changes in the structure of retina is useful in understanding the stages of the disease process and their adverse effect on vision. Medical imaging of retina can lead to several answers regarding possible treatment of diabetic retinopathy. To understand the disease stage of the retina, retinal images need to be processed using several image processing techniques. To clearly understand the diseases of eyes such as aneurysms, haemorrhages, exudates, and macular edema [1], segmentation of retinal blood vessels is the preliminary and primary step.

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2 RELATED WORK
In most of the ophthalmological image processing operations segmentation of retinal blood vessel is performed. We will briefly describe the methods being proposed by the researchers. Echevarria et al. in [4] have proposed segmentation methods based on level sets and fast marching methods. An automated method of detection and extraction of blood vessels in retinal images composed of three steps matched filtering, fuzzy c-median (FCMED) clustering and label filtering is proposed [5,6]. Gabor filters are also used in detection of blood vessels [7]. In [8], optic fundus blood vessel skeleton recognition based on band tree is pro-

posed. Using green grey scale ocular fundus image the skeleton feature of optic fundus blood vessel is extracted. After filtering treatment and extracting feature, the band tree represented vector curve of blood vessels is obtained. The band tree matching is later carried out by means of reference point matching and tree indexing. Siddalingaswamy and Prabhu in [9] have proposed a hybrid method for efficient segmentation of multiple oriented blood vessels in colour retinal images. A complex Gabor filter is used for segment the blood vessels and to supress the background noise. The detected vessels are enhanced using entropic thresh holding based on grey level co-occurrence matrix. In [10], a new neural network scheme is used for pixel classification to extract the blood vessels. Pourreza et al. in [11] have presented an algorithm for vessel detection in retinal color images which works based on local Radon transform and morphological reconstruction. Youssef et al. in [12] have provided a feature-based method for early detection of exudates and proposed a method for extracting the blood vessel tree based on simple morphological operations. The method is based on segmenting all objects that have contrast with the background including the exudates. After eliminating other objects from the image, the exudates are extracted.

3 WORKING OF KIRSCH EDGE DETECTION
ALGORITHM

Edge detection is a process of identifying sudden changes in the pixel values of an image. The typical output of edge detection algorithm is to produce an ———————————————— image containing grey level pixels of value 0 or 255.  Nithin N is with the Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, IndiaThe pixel grey value 0 indicates a black pixel and 255 576104.  Anupkumar M Bongale is with the Manipal Institute of Technology, Ma- indicates a white pixel. Edge information of a particunipal, India-576104. lar pixel is obtained by determining the brightness lev Jayakrishna R is with the Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, Indiael of the neighbouring pixels. If there are no major dif576104. ferences in brightness level then there is a possibility
© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

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the there is no edge in the image. The described procedure is most common and fundamental approach for all the available edge detection algorithms such as Sobel, Prewitt, Laplacian of Gaussian, Kirsch edge detection methods. In this paper we have used Kirsch Edge Detection technique to segment blood vessels from retinal images. Further we will briefly describe working of Kirsch algorithm. The Kirsch edge detection algorithm uses 3×3 table convolution table. The convolution table contains information of a pixel and its neighbours. The algorithm uses eight templates to determine gradient and direction of gradient [4]. Convolution table of a sample 256×256 image at three different locations is shown in fig. 1.

M (i, j) = max (1, max (|5sk-3tk|)) k=0, 1, … 7 among: sk=ak+ak+1+ak+2 tk=ak+3+ak+4+…+ak+7

(2) (3)

The Kirsch algorithm detects an edge as well as direction of the edge. Accordingly, there are eight possible directions – south, east, north, west, northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest. Out of the several templates the biggest one is considered for the output value and later the edges are extracted. Kirsch algorithm can set and reset the threshold values to obtain most suitable edge of images. Kirsch algorithm works well for images having clear distinction between the foreground and background. Since the retinal blood vessels can be considered as required foreground information from fundus images, Kirsch algorithm can be efficiently applied.

4 EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND EVALUATION
The proposed algorithm implemented using MATAB version 7.10 and tested with the selected fundus images of the retina from the gold standard databases [13]. The fundus images of the retina are categorized into three groups: healthy retinal images, retinal images affected in diabetic and glaucomatous patients. The proposed algorithm extracts the blood vessels from the retinal images. Fig 3, Fig 4 and Fig 5 shows the detailed segmentation results obtained by applying proposed technique. To find the performance of proposed algorithm we have compared resulting segmented fundus images with its equivalent gold-standard images. The goldstandard images are obtained by manual creation of a vessel mask, where all vessel pixels are set to one and all non-vessel pixels are assigned to zero. The standard classifications of a vessel are given in Table 1.
Fig. 1. Convolution table in a 256×256 image

TABLE I BLOOD VESSEL CLASSIFICATION

Contents of the convolution table at (i, j) is shown in fig. 2.

Icm[i-1, j-1] Icm[i , j-1] Icm[i+1, j-1]

Icm[i-1, j] Icm[i , j] Icm[i+1, j]

Icm[i-1, j+1] Icm[i , j+1] Icm[i+1, j+1]

The proposed algorithm was evaluated by taking estimated positive value (Ep), estimated negative vale (En) and accuracy (Ac) as the basic parameters.

Fig. 2. Information of convolution table at (i, j)

Consider a sample 3×3 convolution matrix is as specified in equation (1). The size of the edge gradient can be expressed as given in equation (2) and (3).

Where, Ep is the ratio of pixels as vessel that is correctly classified. En is the ratio of pixels as background

© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

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that is correctly classified and Ac provides the total ratio of well classified pixels. The performance evaluations of images are depending upon the threshold (Th) values for each classification. We have numbered all the segmented images from Img_01 to Img_12 as shown in figure 3. Table II, III and IV are the performance results obtained after comparing with the original segmented images in gold standard database. Segmentation accuracy is quite good for healthy patients’ fundus images. But poor results are obtained for diabetic patients’ fundus ima ges. It is clearly observed that average accuracy of the segmented results is around 0.79.
TABLE 2 PERFORMANCE RESULTS FOR NORMAL EYES
Images Ep En Ac Img_01 0.8526 0.9982 0.9785 Img_02 0.8898 0.9282 0.9724 Img_03 0.8392 0.9023 0.9537 Img_04 0.8452 0.9623 0.9437

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TABLE 3 PERFORMANCE RESULTS FOR DIABETIC EYES
Images Ep En Ac Img_05 0.8724 0.9435 0.7439 Img_06 0.8409 0.8393 0.7184 Img_07 0.7180 0.8254 0.6992 Img_08 0.7324 0.9217 0.7391

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TABLE 4 PERFORMANCE RESULTS FOR GLAUCOMATOUS EYES
Images Ep En Ac Img_09 0.7489 0.8335 0.9429 Img_10 0.7035 0.8323 0.8147 Img_11 0.8163 0.9214 0.8637 Img_12 0.8624 0.9257 0.8373

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5 CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK
We have successfully implemented retinal blood vessel extraction technique using Kirsch segmentation method. Segmentation of blood vessel is simple and found satisfactory for fundus images of healthy patients, and glaucomatous patients. But segmentation results are less accurate for patients with diabetic retinopathy. On an average, the accuracy is around 0.79 i.e. around 79% and still lot of scope for further improvement in the algorithm is present. In the near future, we will try to work on retinal blood vessel extraction of diabetic patients by enhancing the efficiency of the proposed technique.

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Ophthalmology, 85:74–79, 2001. Swanson C, Cocker KD, Parker KH, Moseley MJ, and Fielder AR. ―Semi-automated computer analysis of vessel growth in preterm infants without and with ROP‖, British Journal of Ophthalmology, 87:1474–1477, 2003. P. Echevarria, T. Miller and J. O. Meara, ―Blood Vessel Segmentation in Retinal Images‖, J. R. Statistical Society, vol 6, no. 2, 2004. Chaichana Thanapong,, Wiriyasuttiwong Watcharachai, Reepolmaha Somporn, Pintavirooj Chuchart, and Sangworasil Manas, ―Extraction Blood Vessels from Retinal Fundus Image Based on Fuzzy C-Median Clustering Algorithm‖, in Fourth International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery (FSKD 2007), paper 0-7695-2874-0/0. Giri Babu Kande, T.Satya Savithri and P.Venkata Subbaiah, ―Extraction of Exudates and Blood Vessels in Digital Fundus Images‖, in 8th IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology 2008, paper 978-1-4244-2358-3/08. Faraz Oloumi, Rangaraj M. Rangayyan, Foad Oloumi, Peyman Eshghzadeh-Zanjani, and F´ abio J. Ayres, ―Detection of Bl ood Vessels in Fundus Images of the Retina using Gabor Wavelets‖, in Proceedings of the 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, August 23-26, 2007, paper 1-4244-0788-5/0 Songtao Hanand, Zhiwen Xu and ChenSun, ―The Recognition Based on Band Tree for Blood Vessel of Ocular Fundus‖, in Proceedings International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation 2009, paper 978-1-4244-2693-5/09. Siddalingaswamy, P. and Prabhu, K. ―Automatic detection of multiple oriented blood vessels in retinal images,” Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 3, 101-107, Jan. 2010. Diego Marín, Arturo Aquino, Manuel Emilio Gegúndez-Arias, and José Manuel Bravo, ―A New Supervised Method for Blood Vessel Segmentation in Retinal Images by Using Gray-Level and Moment Invariants-Based Features‖, in IEEE Transaction on Medical Imaging, VOL. 30, NO. 1, JANUARY 2011, paper 02780062. Reza Pourreza, Hamidreza Pourreza and Touka Banaee,‖Segmentation of Blood Vessels in Fundus Color Ima ges by Radon Transform and Morphological Reconstruction‖, in Third International Workshop on Advanced Computational Intelligence August 25-27, 2010, paper 978-1-4244-6337-4/10. Doaa Youssef, Nahed Solouma, Amr El-dib, Mai Mabrouk and Abo-Bakr Youssef, ―New Feature-Based Detection of Blood Vessels and Exudates in Color Fundus Images‖, in 2nd International Conference on Image Processing Theory, Tools and Applications July 2010, paper 978-1-4244-7249-9/10. Gold Standard Database for Evaluation of Fundus Image Segmentation Algorithms website. [Online]. Available: http://www.informatik.unierlangen.de/research/data/fundus-images/ , 2005.

REFERENCES
[1] Patton N, Aslam. T.M., MacGillivray T., Dearye I J, Dhillon B, Eikel boom R H, Yogesan K, and Constable I J., ―Retinalima geanalysis: Concepts, applications and potential.‖, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 25:99–127, 2006. Chapman N, Witt N, Gao X, Bharath AA, Stanton AV, Thom SA, and Hughes AD. ―Computer algorithms for theautomated measurement of retinal arteriolar diameters‖, British Journal of
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JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

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Original Images

Grey scale Images

Images after Segmentation Img_01 Img_02 Img_03 Img_04

Fig 3 Retinal Blood Vessel Segmentation results of healthy patients

Original Images

Grey scale Images

Images after Segmentation Img_05 Img_06 Img_07 Img_08

Fig 4 Retinal Blood Vessel Segmentation results of patients with diabetic retinopathy

Original Images

Grey scale Images

Images after Segmentation Img_09 Img_10 Img_11 Img_12

Fig 5 Retinal Blood Vessel Segmentation results of glaucomatous patients.
© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617