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Simultaneous segmentation of leukocyte and erythrocyte in microscopic images using a marker-controlled watershed algorithm. (English) Zbl 1411.92165
Summary: The density or quantity of leukocytes and erythrocytes in a unit volume of blood, which can be automatically measured through a computer-based microscopic image analysis system, is frequently considered an indicator of diseases. The segmentation of blood cells, as a basis of quantitative statistics, plays an important role in the system. However, many conventional methods must firstly distinguish blood cells into two types (i.e., leukocyte and erythrocyte) and segment them in independent procedures. In this paper, we present a marker-controlled watershed algorithm for simultaneously extracting the two types of blood cells to simplify operations and reduce computing time. The method consists of two steps, that is, cell nucleus segmentation and blood cell segmentation. An image enhancement technique is used to obtain the leukocyte marker. Two marker-controlled watershed algorithms are based on distance transformation and edge gradient information to acquire blood cell contour. The segmented leukocytes and erythrocytes are obtained simultaneously by classification. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is fast, robust, and efficient.

MSC:
92C55 Biomedical imaging and signal processing
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