Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1491–1501

Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy: Automatic Extraction of Optic Disc and Exudates from Retinal Images using Marker-controlled Watershed Transformation

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10916-009-9426-y

Cite this article as:
Reza, A.W., Eswaran, C. & Dimyati, K. J Med Syst (2011) 35: 1491. doi:10.1007/s10916-009-9426-y


Due to increasing number of diabetic retinopathy cases, ophthalmologists are experiencing serious problem to automatically extract the features from the retinal images. Optic disc (OD), exudates, and cotton wool spots are the main features of fundus images which are used for diagnosing eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. In this paper, a new algorithm for the extraction of these bright objects from fundus images based on marker-controlled watershed segmentation is presented. The proposed algorithm makes use of average filtering and contrast adjustment as preprocessing steps. The concept of the markers is used to modify the gradient before the watershed transformation is applied. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated using the test images of STARE and DRIVE databases. It is shown that the proposed method can yield an average sensitivity value of about 95%, which is comparable to those obtained by the known methods.


Diabetic retinopathyExudatesCotton wool spotsBiomedical imaging and image processingOptic discWatershed transformation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Wasif Reza
    • 1
  • C. Eswaran
    • 2
  • Kaharudin Dimyati
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of Information TechnologyMultimedia UniversityCyberjayaMalaysia