A New Vessel-Based Method to Estimate Automatically the Position of the Nonfunctional Fovea on Altered Retinography From Maculopathies


  • Calabrèse Aurélie
  • Fournet Vincent
  • Dours Séverine
  • Matonti Frédéric
  • Castet Eric
  • Kornprobst Pierre


  • Maculopathy fovea detection image processing macular lesion fundus image
  • Maculopathy
  • Fovea detection
  • Image processing
  • Macular lesion
  • Fundus image

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to validate a new automated method to locate the fovea on normal and pathological fundus images. Compared to the normative anatomic measures (NAMs), our vessel-based fovea localization (VBFL) approach relies on the retina's vessel structure to make predictions. Methods: The spatial relationship between the fovea location and vessel characteristics is learnt from healthy fundus images and then used to predict fovea location in new images. We evaluate the VBFL method on three categories of fundus images: healthy images acquired with different head orientations and fixation locations, healthy images with simulated macular lesions, and pathological images from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Results: For healthy images taken with the head tilted to the side, the NAM estimation error is significantly multiplied by 4, whereas VBFL yields no significant increase, representing a 73% reduction in prediction error. With simulated lesions, VBFL performance decreases significantly as lesion size increases and remains better than NAM until lesion size reaches 200 degrees 2. For pathological images, average prediction error was 2.8 degrees, with 64% of the images yielding an error of 2.5 degrees or less. VBFL was not robust for images showing darker regions and/or incomplete representation of the optic disk. Conclusions: The vascular structure provides enough information to precisely locate the fovea in fundus images in a way that is robust to head tilt, eccentric fixation location, missing vessels, and actual macular lesions. Translational Relevance: The VBFL method should allow researchers and clinicians to assess automatically the eccentricity of a newly developed area of fixation in fundus images with macular lesions.

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