Adaptation of a support vector machine algorithm for segmentation and visualization of retinal structures in volumetric optical coherence tomography data sets

Robert J. Zawadzki, Alfred R. Fuller, David F. Wiley, Bernd Hamann, Stacey S. Choi, John S. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Recent developments in Fourier domain-optical coherence tomography (Fd-OCT) have increased the acquisition speed of current ophthalmic Fd-OCT instruments sufficiently to allow the acquisition of volumetric data sets of human retinas in a clinical setting. The large size and three-dimensional (3D) nature of these data sets require that intelligent data processing, visualization, and analysis tools are used to take full advantage of the available information. Therefore, we have combined methods from volume visualization, and data analysis in support of better visualization and diagnosis of Fd-OCT retinal volumes. Custom-designed 3D visualization and analysis software is used to view retinal volumes reconstructed from registered B-scans. We use a support vector machine (SVM) to perform semiautomatic segmentation of retinal layers and structures for subsequent analysis including a comparison of measured layer thicknesses. We have modified the SVM to gracefully handle OCT speckle noise by treating it as a characteristic of the volumetric data. Our software has been tested successfully in clinical settings for its efficacy in assessing 3D retinal structures in healthy as well as diseased cases. Our tool facilitates diagnosis and treatment monitoring of retinal diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041206
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007



  • Ophthalmology
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Optical diagnostics for medicine
  • Pattern recognition and feature extraction
  • Support vector machine
  • Volume visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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