Engineering with Computers

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 165–173 | Cite as

Multilayered thresholding-based blood vessel segmentation for screening of diabetic retinopathy

  • M. Usman AkramEmail author
  • Shoab A. Khan
Original Article


Diabetic retinopathy screening involves assessment of the retina with attention to a series of indicative features, i.e., blood vessels, optic disk and macula etc. The detection of changes in blood vessel structure and flow due to either vessel narrowing, complete occlusions or neovascularization is of great importance. Blood vessel segmentation is the basic foundation while developing retinal screening systems since vessels serve as one of the main retinal landmark features. This article presents an automated method for enhancement and segmentation of blood vessels in retinal images. We present a method that uses 2-D Gabor wavelet for vessel enhancement due to their ability to enhance directional structures and a new multilayered thresholding technique for accurate vessel segmentation. The strength of proposed segmentation technique is that it performs well for large variations in illumination and even for capturing the thinnest vessels. The system is tested on publicly available retinal images databases of manually labeled images, i.e., DRIVE and STARE. The proposed method for blood vessel segmentation achieves an average accuracy of 94.85% and an average area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.9669. We compare our method with recently published methods and experimental results show that proposed method gives better results.


Diabetic retinopathy Blood vessels Wavelet Multilayered thresholding 



The authors would like to thank Hoover et. al. [27] and Staal et al. [21] for making their databases publicly available.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer and Software Engineering DepartmentBahria UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Computer Engineering College of Electrical and Mechanical EngineeringNational University of Sciences and TechnologyRawalpindiPakistan

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