Circumpapillary OCT-Focused Hybrid Learning for Glaucoma Grading Using Tailored Prototypical Neural Networks

by   Gabriel Garcia, et al.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is the quintessential imaging technique for its detection. Unlike most of the state-of-the-art studies focused on glaucoma detection, in this paper, we propose, for the first time, a novel framework for glaucoma grading using raw circumpapillary B-scans. In particular, we set out a new OCT-based hybrid network which combines hand-driven and deep learning algorithms. An OCT-specific descriptor is proposed to extract hand-crafted features related to the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL). In parallel, an innovative CNN is developed using skip-connections to include tailored residual and attention modules to refine the automatic features of the latent space. The proposed architecture is used as a backbone to conduct a novel few-shot learning based on static and dynamic prototypical networks. The k-shot paradigm is redefined giving rise to a supervised end-to-end system which provides substantial improvements discriminating between healthy, early and advanced glaucoma samples. The training and evaluation processes of the dynamic prototypical network are addressed from two fused databases acquired via Heidelberg Spectralis system. Validation and testing results reach a categorical accuracy of 0.9459 and 0.8788 for glaucoma grading, respectively. Besides, the high performance reported by the proposed model for glaucoma detection deserves a special mention. The findings from the class activation maps are directly in line with the clinicians' opinion since the heatmaps pointed out the RNFL as the most relevant structure for glaucoma diagnosis.



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