Structure-Preserving Guided Retinal Image Filtering and Its Application for Optic Disk Analysis

Jun Cheng, Zhengguo Li, Zaiwang Gu, Huazhu Fu, Damon Wing Kee Wong, Jiang Liu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Retinal fundus photographs have been used in the diagnosis of many ocular diseases such as glaucoma, pathological myopia, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. With the development of computer science, computer aided diagnosis has been developed to process and analyze the retinal images automatically. One of the challenges in the analysis is that the quality of the retinal image is often degraded. For example, a cataract in human lens will attenuate the retinal image, just as a cloudy camera lens which reduces the quality of a photograph. It often obscures the details in the retinal images and posts challenges in retinal image processing and analyzing tasks. In this paper, we approximate the degradation of the retinal images as a combination of human-lens attenuation and scattering. A novel structure-preserving guided retinal image filtering (SGRIF) is then proposed to restore images based on the attenuation and scattering model. The proposed SGRIF consists of a step of global structure transferring and a step of global edge-preserving smoothing. Our results show that the proposed SGRIF method is able to improve the contrast of retinal images, measured by histogram flatness measure, histogram spread, and variability of local luminosity. In addition, we further explored the benefits of SGRIF for subsequent retinal image processing and analyzing tasks. In the two applications of deep learning-based optic cup segmentation and sparse learning-based cup-to-disk ratio (CDR) computation, our results show that we are able to achieve more accurate optic cup segmentation and CDR measurements from images processed by SGRIF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8361495
Pages (from-to)2536-2546
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Retinal image processing
  • computer aided diagnosis
  • segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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