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Locally adaptive image binarization with a sliding-window threshold can be an effective tool for various image processing tasks. We have used the method for the detection of bone ridges in radiotherapy portal images. However, a straight-forward implementation of sliding-window processing is too time consuming for routine use. Therefore, we have developed a new thresholding criterion suitable for incremental update within the sliding window, and we show that our algorithm gives better results on difficult portal images than various publicly available adaptive thresholding routines. For small windows, the routine is also faster than an adaptive implementation of the Otsu algorithm that uses interpolation between fixed tiles, and the resulting images are equally good.