PVBM: A Python Vasculature Biomarker Toolbox Based On Retinal Blood Vessel Segmentation
Introduction: Blood vessels can be non-invasively visualized from a digital fundus image (DFI). Several studies have shown an association between cardiovascular risk and vascular features obtained from DFI. Recent advances in computer vision and image segmentation enable automatising DFI blood vessel segmentation. There is a need for a resource that can automatically compute digital vasculature biomarkers (VBM) from these segmented DFI. Methods: In this paper, we introduce a Python Vasculature BioMarker toolbox, denoted PVBM. A total of 11 VBMs were implemented. In particular, we introduce new algorithmic methods to estimate tortuosity and branching angles. Using PVBM, and as a proof of usability, we analyze geometric vascular differences between glaucomatous patients and healthy controls. Results: We built a fully automated vasculature biomarker toolbox based on DFI segmentations and provided a proof of usability to characterize the vascular changes in glaucoma. For arterioles and venules, all biomarkers were significant and lower in glaucoma patients compared to healthy controls except for tortuosity, venular singularity length and venular branching angles. Conclusion: We have automated the computation of 11 VBMs from retinal blood vessel segmentation. The PVBM toolbox is made open source under a GNU GPL 3 license and is available on physiozoo.com (following publication).
- Pub Date:
- July 2022
- Computer Science - Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition