Fractal dimensions (FDs) are frequently used for summarizing the complexity of retinal vascular. However, previous techniques on this topic were not zone specific. A new methodology to measure FD of a specific zone in retinal images has been developed and tested as a marker for stroke prediction. Higuchi's fractal dimension was measured in circumferential direction (FDC) with respect to optic disk (OD), in three concentric regions between OD boundary and 1.5 OD diameter from its margin. The significance of its association with future episode of stroke event was tested using the Blue Mountain Eye Study (BMES) database and compared against spectrum fractal dimension (SFD) and box-counting (BC) dimension. Kruskal-Wallis analysis revealed FDC as a better predictor of stroke (H = 5.80, P = 0.016, α = 0.05) compared with SFD (H = 0.51, P = 0.475, α = 0.05) and BC (H = 0.41, P = 0.520, α = 0.05) with overall lower median value for the cases compared to the control group. This work has shown that there is a significant association between zone specific FDC of eye fundus images with future episode of stroke while this difference is not significant when other FD methods are employed.
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