Automatic analysis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy using multi-scale quantitative morphology of nerve fibres in corneal confocal microscopy imaging

M. A. Dabbah, J. Graham, I. N. Petropoulos, M. Tavakoli, R. A. Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is one of the most common long term complications of diabetes. Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) image analysis is a novel non-invasive technique which quantifies corneal nerve fibre damage and enables diagnosis of DPN. This paper presents an automatic analysis and classification system for detecting nerve fibres in CCM images based on a multi-scale adaptive dual-model detection algorithm. The algorithm exploits the curvilinear structure of the nerve fibres and adapts itself to the local image information. Detected nerve fibres are then quantified and used as feature vectors for classification using random forest (RF) and neural networks (NNT) classifiers. We show, in a comparative study with other well known curvilinear detectors, that the best performance is achieved by the multi-scale dual model in conjunction with the NNT classifier. An evaluation of clinical effectiveness shows that the performance of the automated system matches that of ground-truth defined by expert manual annotation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-747
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011



  • Corneal confocal microscopy
  • Curvilinear structures
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Image quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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