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The development of methods to detect slowly progressing diseases is often hampered by the time-consuming acquisition of a sufficiently large data set. In this paper, a method is presented to model the change in images acquired by scanning laser polarimetry, for the detection of glaucomatous progression. The model is based on image series of 23 healthy eyes and incorporates colored noise, incomplete cornea compensation and masking by the retinal blood vessels. Additionally, two methods for detecting progression, taking either one or two follow-up visits into account, are discussed and tested on these simulated images. Both methods are based on Student's t-tests, morphological operations and anisotropic filtering. The images simulated by the model are visually pleasing, show corresponding statistical properties to the real images and are used to optimize the detection methods. The results show that detecting progression based on two follow-up visits greatly improves the sensitivity without adversely affecting the specificity.
Date of Publication: May 2006