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J Digit Imaging. 2010 Aug;23(4):438-53. doi: 10.1007/s10278-009-9261-1. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Detection of the optic nerve head in fundus images of the retina with Gabor filters and phase portrait analysis.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada. ranga@ucalgary.ca


We propose a method using Gabor filters and phase portraits to automatically locate the optic nerve head (ONH) in fundus images of the retina. Because the center of the ONH is at or near the focal point of convergence of the retinal vessels, the method includes detection of the vessels using Gabor filters, detection of peaks in the node map obtained via phase portrait analysis, and an intensity-based condition. The method was tested on 40 images from the Digital Retinal Images for Vessel Extraction (DRIVE) database and 81 images from the Structured Analysis of the Retina (STARE) database. An ophthalmologist independently marked the center of the ONH for evaluation of the results. The evaluation of the results includes free-response receiver operating characteristics (FROC) and a measure of distance between the manually marked and detected centers. With the DRIVE database, the centers of the ONH were detected with an average distance of 0.36 mm (18 pixels) to the corresponding centers marked by the ophthalmologist. FROC analysis indicated a sensitivity of 100% at 2.7 false positives per image. With the STARE database, FROC analysis indicated a sensitivity of 88.9% at 4.6 false positives per image.

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