Automated Corneal Nerve Segmentation Using Weighted Local Phase Tensor

Kun Zhao, Hui Zhang (Coresponding Author), Yitian Zhao (Coresponding Author), Jianyang Xie, Yalin Zheng, David Borroni, Hong Qi, Jiang Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


There has been increasing interest in the analysis of corneal nerve fibers to support examination and diagnosis of many diseases, and for this purpose, automated nerve fiber segmentation is a fundamental step. Existing methods of automated corneal nerve fiber detection continue to pose difficulties due to multiple factors, such as poor contrast and fragmented fibers caused by inaccurate focus. To address these problems, in this paper we propose a novel weighted local phase tensor-based curvilinear structure filtering method. This method not only takes into account local phase features using a quadrature filter to enhance edges and lines, but also utilizes the weighted geometric mean of the blurred and shifted responses to allow better tolerance of curvilinear structures with irregular appearances. To demonstrate its effectiveness, we apply this framework to 1578 corneal confocal microscopy images. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods in applicability, effectiveness, and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Image Understanding and Analysis - 23rd Conference, MIUA 2019, Proceedings
EditorsYalin Zheng, Bryan M. Williams, Ke Chen
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030393427
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event23rd Conference on Medical Image Understanding and Analysis - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jul 201926 Jul 2019
Conference number: 23

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1065 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference23rd Conference on Medical Image Understanding and Analysis
Abbreviated titleMIUA 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Corneal nerve
  • Curvilinear structure
  • Local phase
  • Segmentation

Field of Science*

  • 1.2 Computer and information sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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