24 March 2016 Computer-aided detection of human cone photoreceptor inner segments using multi-scale circular voting
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Cone photoreceptors are highly specialized cells responsible for the origin of vision in the human eye. Their inner segments can be noninvasively visualized using adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopes (AOSLOs) with nonconfocal split detection capabilities. Monitoring the number of cones can lead to more precise metrics for real-time diagnosis and assessment of disease progression. Cell identification in split detection AOSLO images is hindered by cell regions with heterogeneous intensity arising from shadowing effects and low contrast boundaries due to overlying blood vessels. Here, we present a multi-scale circular voting approach to overcome these challenges through the novel combination of: 1) iterative circular voting to identify candidate cells based on their circular structures, 2) a multi-scale strategy to identify the optimal circular voting response, and 3) clustering to improve robustness while removing false positives. We acquired images from three healthy subjects at various locations on the retina and manually labeled cell locations to create ground-truth for evaluating the detection accuracy. The images span a large range of cell densities. The overall recall, precision, and F1 score were 91±4%, 84±10%, and 87±7% (Mean±SD). Results showed that our method for the identification of cone photoreceptor inner segments performs well even with low contrast cell boundaries and vessel obscuration. These encouraging results demonstrate that the proposed approach can robustly and accurately identify cells in split detection AOSLO images.
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Jianfei Liu, Jianfei Liu, Alfredo Dubra, Alfredo Dubra, Johnny Tam, Johnny Tam, } "Computer-aided detection of human cone photoreceptor inner segments using multi-scale circular voting", Proc. SPIE 9785, Medical Imaging 2016: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 97851A (24 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2216929; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2216929

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