Precise three-dimensional segmentation of choroidal vessels helps us understand the development and progression of multiple ocular diseases, such as agerelated macular degeneration and pathological myopia. Here we propose a novel automatic choroidal vessel segmentation framework for swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) to visualize and quantify three-dimensional choroidal vessel networks. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was delineated from volumetric data and enface frames along the depth were extracted under the RPE. Choroidal vessels on the first enface frame were labeled by adaptive thresholding and each subsequent frame was segmented via segment propagation from the frame above and was in turn used as the reference for the next frame. Choroid boundary was determined by structural similarity index between adjacent frames. The framework was tested on 33 mm SS-OCT volumes acquired by a prototype SS-OCT system (PlexElite 9000, Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA, US), and vessel metrics including perfusion density, vessel density and mean vessel diameter were computed. Results from human subjects (N = 8) and non-human primates (N = 6) were summarized.Clinical Relevance- Accurate 3D choroid vessel segmentation can help clinicians better quantify blood perfusion which can lead to improved diagnosis and management of retinal eye diseases.

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PubMed