Edinburgh Imaging

21 Mar 19. Vampire Software

VAMPIRE software tools for retinal image analysis, is now being used by a team of vets in Italy, led by Dr Alessandro Cirla, to study the retinal blood vessels in hypertensive cats.

Link to Journal of Veterinary Ophthalmology



Cirla, A., Drigo, M., Ballerini, L., Trucco, E., & Barsotti, G.



Objectives: To validate a retinal imaging software named VAMPIRE® (Vascular Assay and Measurement Platform for Images of the Retina) in feline patients and test the clinical utility in hypertensive cats.

Animals Studied: One hundred and five healthy cats were enrolled. They represented the normal dataset used in the validation (group 1). Forty-three hypertensive cats with no noticeable retinal abnormalities were enrolled for the clinical validity of the software (group 2).

Procedures: Eleven points (4 veins, 4 arteries, and 3 arterial bifurcations) were measured for each digital image. Repeatability and reproducibility of measurements were assessed using two independent operators. Data were statistically analyzed by the Mann-Whiney and Tukey box plot. Significance was considered when P < 0.05.

Results: Two hundred and ten retinal images were analyzed for a total of 2310 measurements. Total mean was 9.1 and 6.1 pixels for veins and arteries, respectively. First, second, and third arteriolar bifurcations angles were 73.6°, 76.9°, and 85.4°, respectively. A comparison between groups 1 and 2 showed a statistically significant reduction in arteriolar diameter (mean 3.3 pixels) and branch angle (55°, 47.8° and 59.9°) associated with increasing vein diameter (mean 24.15 pixels).

Conclusions: Current image analysis techniques used in human medicine were investigated in terms of extending their use to veterinary medicine. The VAMPIRE® algorithm proved useful for an objective diagnosis of retinal vasculature changes secondary to systemic hypertension in cats, and could be an additional diagnostic test for feline systemic hypertension.

THE ABOVE PAPER is the team's first paper on animal retinas. 


VAMPIRE software is used by an increasing number of international clinical teams investigating retinal biomarkers for systemic disease like dementia, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We are delighted to see growing interest from the veterinary world, including a nascent collaboration with the Royal College of  Veterinarians in London

Dr Tom MacGillivray  & Manuel Trucco University of Edinburgh & University of Dundee, respectively