Due to the tremendous increase in the usage of computer technologies, image-processing techniques have become one among the most important and rapidly used one in a wide variety of applications, especially in medical imaging. The basic idea of the medical image analysis is to improve the imaging content. A typical medical imaging system is composed of five main processing steps namely, image acquisition, enhancement, segmentation, feature extraction/selection and classification. In this paper, we have done a study on the current state – of – art techniques that have been used in various stages of medical image analysis. The methodologies used and technical issues in each stage have been discussed. In addition, this paper also addresses the challenges faced by researchers during the implementation and outline of the pros and cons of the existing algorithms. © Springer International Publishing AG 2018.