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In Ophthalmic medical image analysis : 6th International Workshop, OMIA 2019, held in conjunction with MICCAI 2019, Shenzhen, China, October 17, Proceedings. OMIA (Workshop) (6th : 2019 : Shenzhen Shi, China) ; h5-index 0.0

Direct visualization of photoreceptor cells, specialized neurons in the eye that sense light, can be achieved using adaptive optics (AO) retinal imaging. Evaluating photoreceptor cell morphology in retinal diseases is important for monitoring the onset and progression of blindness, but segmentation of these cells is a critical first step. Most segmentation approaches focus on cell region extraction, without directly considering cell boundary localization. This makes it difficult to track cells that have ambiguous boundaries, which result from low image contrast, anisotropic cell regions, or densely-packed cells whose boundaries appear to touch each other. These are all characteristics of the AO images that we consider here. To address these challenges, we develop an AOSeg-Net method that uses a multi-channel U-Net to predict the spatial probabilities of the cell boundary and obtain cell centroid and region distribution information as a means for facilitating cell segmentation. Five-color theorem guarantees the separation of any touching cells. Finally, a region-based level set algorithm that combines all of these visual cues is used to achieve subpixel cell segmentation. Five-fold cross-validation on 428 high resolution retinal images from 23 human subjects showed that AOSegNet substantially outperformed the only other existing approach with Dice coefficients [%] of 84.7 and 78.4, respectively, and average symmetric contour distances [μm] of 0.59 and 0.80, respectively.

Liu Jianfei, Shen Christine, Liu Tao, Aguilera Nancy, Tam Johnny


Adaptive optics, Cone photoreceptor neuron, Five-color theorem, Level set segmentation, U-Net