A Comparative Study of White Blood cells Segmentation using Otsu Threshold and Watershed Transformation


  • Nancy Salem Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Egypt;
  • Noorhan M Sobhy Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Egypt
  • Mohamed El Dosoky Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Egypt




White blood cells, Leukaemia, segmentation, Otsu threshold, watershed, feature extraction,


The aim of white blood cells (WBC) segmentation is to separate leukocytes from other different components in the blood peripheral image. In this paper, a method to segment white blood cells from microscopic images is proposed. The proposed method consists of three stages; Pre-processing, segmentation, and finally post-processing. In the pre-processing step; the color correction is used to enhance the image. In the segmentation step; two techniques have been used which are Otsu threshold and watershed marker-controlled followed by feature extraction. Shape features are used to differentiate between single and grouped cells. Artifacts are removed in the post-processing step. Experimental results show that the accuracy is 99.3% and 93.3% for the watershed based and the Otsu threshold based methods respectively. Experiments demonstrate that watershed marker-controlled outperforms Otsu threshold in the segmentation of WBC.


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How to Cite

Salem, N., Sobhy, N. M., & Dosoky, M. E. (2016). A Comparative Study of White Blood cells Segmentation using Otsu Threshold and Watershed Transformation. Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging, 3(3), 15. https://doi.org/10.14738/jbemi.33.2078