Early ocular disease diagnosis is an important field in medical research. From the image processing point of view, many strategies and algorithms have been developed to deal with the extraction of the retinal vessel tree. Although reliable and accurate results have been obtained, the main disadvantage in most of these proposals is the high computation effort required. In this paper, a methodology to extract the retinal vessel tree has been developed and tested in a fine-grain pixel-parallel processor array. An analysis of the execution time has been made to demonstrate its capabilities regarding the computation speed. Moreover, an analysis of the accuracy using a publicly available database has been made to validate the algorithm performance. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.