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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 4897258, 12 pages
Research Article

Blood Vessel Extraction in Color Retinal Fundus Images with Enhancement Filtering and Unsupervised Classification

Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey

Correspondence should be addressed to Zafer Yavuz; rt.ude.utk@zuvayrefaz

Received 6 April 2017; Revised 29 May 2017; Accepted 19 June 2017; Published 3 August 2017

Academic Editor: Anna Nowińska

Copyright © 2017 Zafer Yavuz and Cemal Köse. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Retinal blood vessels have a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of various retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, arteriosclerosis, and hypertension. For this reason, retinal vasculature extraction is important in order to help specialists for the diagnosis and treatment of systematic diseases. In this paper, a novel approach is developed to extract retinal blood vessel network. Our method comprises four stages: (1) preprocessing stage in order to prepare dataset for segmentation; (2) an enhancement procedure including Gabor, Frangi, and Gauss filters obtained separately before a top-hat transform; (3) a hard and soft clustering stage which includes K-means and Fuzzy C-means (FCM) in order to get binary vessel map; and (4) a postprocessing step which removes falsely segmented isolated regions. The method is tested on color retinal images obtained from STARE and DRIVE databases which are available online. As a result, Gabor filter followed by K-means clustering method achieves 95.94% and 95.71% of accuracy for STARE and DRIVE databases, respectively, which are acceptable for diagnosis systems.