Novel Method for Automated Analysis of Retinal Images: Results in Subjects with Hypertensive Retinopathy and CADASIL

Citation:

Michele Cavallari, Claudio Stamile, Renato Umeton, Francesco Calimeri, and Francesco Orzi. 2015. “Novel Method for Automated Analysis of Retinal Images: Results in Subjects with Hypertensive Retinopathy and CADASIL.” Biomed Res Int, 2015, Pp. 752957.

Abstract:

Morphological analysis of the retinal vessels by fundoscopy provides noninvasive means for detecting and staging systemic microvascular damage. However, full exploitation of fundoscopy in clinical settings is limited by paucity of quantitative, objective information obtainable through the observer-driven evaluations currently employed in routine practice. Here, we report on the development of a semiautomated, computer-based method to assess retinal vessel morphology. The method allows simultaneous and operator-independent quantitative assessment of arteriole-to-venule ratio, tortuosity index, and mean fractal dimension. The method was implemented in two conditions known for being associated with retinal vessel changes: hypertensive retinopathy and Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). The results showed that our approach is effective in detecting and quantifying the retinal vessel abnormalities. Arteriole-to-venule ratio, tortuosity index, and mean fractal dimension were altered in the subjects with hypertensive retinopathy or CADASIL with respect to age- and gender-matched controls. The interrater reliability was excellent for all the three indices (intraclass correlation coefficient ≥ 85%). The method represents simple and highly reproducible means for discriminating pathological conditions characterized by morphological changes of retinal vessels. The advantages of our method include simultaneous and operator-independent assessment of different parameters and improved reliability of the measurements.