Xenophon Zabulis

Xenophon Zabulis
Principal Researcher

Institute of Computer Science,
Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH)

Project: ESR 3.4 Hypertension (WP 1)

Measurement of retinal microcirculation for the early diagnosis of hypertension and the assessment of its treatment

Due to their minute scale, small vessels are more sensitive to damage (vasculopathy) induced by hypertension. As this damage starts much earlier in small vessels, its timely detection is of diagnostic and screening significance. At the same time, reversal of alterations in the size, shape and structure of small vessels can provide information about the efficacy of the provided treatment. The retina comprises an open and easily accessible window for the in-vivo study of microcirculation. Retinal vessels can be non-invasively and cost-efficiently imaged and advances in computational image analysis technologies have made it possible to measure vessel dimension and structure and detect subtle changes.

The project aims to provide novel diagnostic tools for the assessment of microcirculation, based on retinal image analysis that models symptoms of hypertension on the retinal microvasculatory system. Its objectives are to:
• develop anatomically aware algorithms for automatic identification of retinal vessels for clinical parameters related to hypertension,
• develop reliable algorithms for automatic registration of retinal images acquired at different time periods (follow up examinations),
• compare dimensions and clinical parameters in healthy and hypertensive patients, in order to provide a predictive test for hypertension from retinal images, and
• develop software towards a user-platform that facilitates diagnostic procedure.
In this context the successful applicant will be involved in the development of software that extracts clinical parameters from vessels, and correlates them with hypertension and, also, registers retinal images in order to assess variations of these parameters along time.

Related publications

Manikis, G, Sakkalis V, Zabulis X, Karamaounas P, Triantafyllou A, Douma S, Zamboulis C, Marias K. (2011). “An Image Analysis Framework for the Early Assessment of Hypertensive Retinopathy Signs”. IEEE International Conference on E-Health and Bioengineering (EHB), Iasi, Romania – 2011 (Best conference paper award).

Triantafyllou, M. Doumas, P. Anyfanti, E. Gkaliagkousi, X. Zabulis, K. Petidis, E. Gavriilaki, P. Karamaounas, V. Gkolias, A. Pyrpasopoulou, A. B. Haidich, C. Zamboulis, S. Douma, “Divergent retinal vascular abnormalities between patients with never-treated, masked, white coat hypertension and normotensives”, American Journal of Hypertension, doi: 10.1093/ajh/hps040, 2013 (to appear).

Alberto Ferrari” Poster Award of the ESH for small vessels Session, for A. Triantafyllou, X. Zabulis, P. Anyfanti, E. Gkaliagkousi, K. Petidis, E. Gavriilaki, A. Pyrpasopoulou, P. Karamaounas, V. Golias, B. Nikolaidou, M. Doumas, S. Douma, “Retinopathy in Different Hypertension Phenotypes, Another Example of Target Organ Damage in Masked Hypertensives”, presented in the 22nd European Meeting on Hypertnension and Cardiovascular Protection, April 26-29, 2012, ICC London and appearing as abstract in Journal of Hypertension 2011 30 (e-SuppA):e594.

Karamaounas, P., Manikis, G., Zabulis, X. (2011). “Retinal Images Analyzer”, Technical Report FORTH-ICS / TR-417 2011.


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