Optic disc boundary and vessel origin segmentation of fundus images

Sohini Roychowdhury, Dara D. Koozekanani, Sam N. Kuchinka, Keshab K. Parhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel classification-based optic disc (OD) segmentation algorithm that detects the OD boundary and the location of vessel origin (VO) pixel. First, the green plane of each fundus image is resized and morphologically reconstructed using a circular structuring element. Bright regions are then extracted from the morphologically reconstructed image that lie in close vicinity of the major blood vessels. Next, the bright regions are classified as bright probable OD regions and non-OD regions using six region-based features and a Gaussian mixture model classifier. The classified bright probable OD region with maximum Vessel-Sum and Solidity is detected as the best candidate region for the OD. Other bright probable OD regions within 1-disc diameter from the centroid of the best candidate OD region are then detected as remaining candidate regions for the OD. A convex hull containing all the candidate OD regions is then estimated, and a best-fit ellipse across the convex hull becomes the segmented OD boundary. Finally, the centroid of major blood vessels within the segmented OD boundary is detected as the VO pixel location. The proposed algorithm has low computation time complexity and it is robust to variations in image illumination, imaging angles, and retinal abnormalities. This algorithm achieves 98.8%-100% OD segmentation success and OD segmentation overlap score in the range of 72%-84% on images from the six public datasets of DRIVE, DIARETDB1, DIARETDB0, CHASE-DB1,MESSIDOR, and STARE in less than 2.14 s per image. Thus, the proposed algorithm can be used for automated detection of retinal pathologies, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and maculopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1574
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 17, 2015; revised July 22, 2015; accepted August 20, 2015. Date of publication August 26, 2015; date of current version December 6, 2016. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Institute for Engineering and Medicine at the University of Minnesota and in part by an unrestricted departmental grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, NY, USA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • Centroid
  • Major vessels
  • Optic disc (OD)
  • Overlap score
  • Solidity
  • Vessel origin (VO)


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