On the quantitative effects of compression of retinal fundus images on morphometric vascular measurements in VAMPIRE

INSPIRED project, Muthu Rama Krishnan Mookiah (Lead / Corresponding author), Stephen Hogg, Tom MacGillivray, Emanuele Trucco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Objectives: This paper reports a quantitative analysis of the effects of joint photographic experts group (JPEG) image compression of retinal fundus camera images on automatic vessel segmentation and on morphometric vascular measurements derived from it, including vessel width, tortuosity and fractal dimension.

Methods: Measurements are computed with vascular assessment and measurement platform for images of the retina (VAMPIRE), a specialized software application adopted in many international studies on retinal biomarkers. For reproducibility, we use three public archives of fundus images (digital retinal images for vessel extraction (DRIVE), automated retinal image analyzer (ARIA), high-resolution fundus (HRF)). We generate compressed versions of original images in a range of representative levels.

Results: We compare the resulting vessel segmentations with ground truth maps and morphological measurements of the vascular network with those obtained from the original (uncompressed) images. We assess the segmentation quality with sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, area under the curve and Dice coefficient. We assess the agreement between VAMPIRE measurements from compressed and uncompressed images with correlation, intra-class correlation and Bland-Altman analysis.

Conclusions: Results suggest that VAMPIRE width-related measurements (central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE), central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE), arteriolar-venular width ratio (AVR)), the fractal dimension (FD) and arteriolar tortuosity have excellent agreement with those from the original images, remaining substantially stable even for strong loss of quality (20% of the original), suggesting the suitability of VAMPIRE in association studies with compressed images.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105969
Number of pages17
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Early online date5 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Retinal imaging
  • JPEG compression
  • Retinal biomarkers
  • JPEG Compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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