A hybrid segmentation approach for geographic atrophy in fundus auto-fluorescence images for diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration

Lee, Noah; Laine, Andrew F.; Smith, R. Theodore

Fundus auto-fluorescence (FAF) images with hypo-fluorescence indicate geographic atrophy (GA) of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Manual quantification of GA is time consuming and prone to inter- and intra-observer variability. Automatic quantification is important for determining disease progression and facilitating clinical diagnosis of AMD. In this paper we describe a hybrid segmentation method for GA quantification by identifying hypo-fluorescent GA regions from other interfering retinal vessel structures. First, we employ background illumination correction exploiting a non-linear adaptive smoothing operator. Then, we use the level set framework to perform segmentation of hypo-fluorescent areas. Finally, we present an energy function combining morphological scale-space analysis with a geometric model-based approach to perform segmentation refinement of false positive hypo- fluorescent areas due to interfering retinal structures. The clinically apparent areas of hypo-fluorescence were drawn by an expert grader and compared on a pixel by pixel basis to our segmentation results. The mean sensitivity and specificity of the ROC analysis were 0.89 and 0.98%.


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Academic Units
Biomedical Engineering
Published Here
August 12, 2010


2007 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society: Lyon, France, 22-26 August 2007 (Piscataway, N.J.: IEEE, 2007), pp. 4965-4968.