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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2011 Feb;30(2):484-96. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2010.2087390. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Segmentation of intra-retinal layers from optical coherence tomography images using an active contour approach.

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School of Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive, depth-resolved imaging modality that has become a prominent ophthalmic diagnostic technique. We present a semi-automated segmentation algorithm to detect intra-retinal layers in OCT images acquired from rodent models of retinal degeneration. We adapt Chan-Vese's energy-minimizing active contours without edges for the OCT images, which suffer from low contrast and are highly corrupted by noise. A multiphase framework with a circular shape prior is adopted in order to model the boundaries of retinal layers and estimate the shape parameters using least squares. We use a contextual scheme to balance the weight of different terms in the energy functional. The results from various synthetic experiments and segmentation results on OCT images of rats are presented, demonstrating the strength of our method to detect the desired retinal layers with sufficient accuracy even in the presence of intensity inhomogeneity resulting from blood vessels. Our algorithm achieved an average Dice similarity coefficient of 0.84 over all segmented retinal layers, and of 0.94 for the combined nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, and inner plexiform layer which are the critical layers for glaucomatous degeneration.

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