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Extraction of fluorescent dot traces from a scanning laser ophthalmoscope image sequence by spatio-temporal image analysis: Gabor filter and radon transform filtering

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5 Author(s)
Yamamoto, S. ; Div. of Functional Diagnostic Imaging, Osaka Univ., Japan ; Nakajima, Y. ; Tamura, S. ; Sato, Y.
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The scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) allows the tracking of fluorescent dot motion, thereby enabling the flow velocities in perimacular capillaries to be directly measured. These can serve as an important index of local retinal soundness or reflect the whole body circulation status in disorders such as diabetes. Although it is possible to perceive moving fluorescent dots with the human eye, they are so faint and unstable that it is difficult to detect them by conventional digital still-image processing methods. To solve this problem, the authors generated spatiotemporal images of the fluorescent dots in a capillary and applied Gabor filters tuned to the direction of the traces in order to detect them. Finally, by discriminating and integrating the output using two levels of threshold, the authors were able to extract their traces. Because the medium-size Gabor filter requires a considerable amount of time for two-dimensional convolution calculation, the authors prove that there is a certain equivalence between the Gabor filter, the radon transform, and the Hough transform. In the light of this, the authors propose a form of radon transform filtering that includes a radon transform Gabor filter as a very long Gabor filter. This allows a whole trace to be detected in a single step with a one-dimensional convolution, thereby shortening the processing time. In an experiment, 60% of the traces could be detected without error, which is sufficient to allow the mean flow velocity in a capillary to be measured.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 11 )