Predicting optical coherence tomography-derived diabetic macular edema grades from fundus photographs using deep learning

by   Avinash Varadarajan, et al.

Diabetic eye disease is one of the fastest growing causes of preventable blindness. With the advent of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapies, it has become increasingly important to detect center-involved diabetic macular edema. However, center-involved diabetic macular edema is diagnosed using optical coherence tomography (OCT), which is not generally available at screening sites because of cost and workflow constraints. Instead, screening programs rely on the detection of hard exudates as a proxy for DME on color fundus photographs, often resulting in high false positive or false negative calls. To improve the accuracy of DME screening, we trained a deep learning model to use color fundus photographs to predict DME grades derived from OCT exams. Our "OCT-DME" model had an AUC of 0.89 (95 which corresponds to a sensitivity of 85 comparison, three retinal specialists had similar sensitivities (82-85 only half the specificity (45-50 positive predictive value (PPV) of the OCT-DME model was 61 approximately double the 36-38 saliency and other techniques to examine how the model is making its prediction. The ability of deep learning algorithms to make clinically relevant predictions that generally require sophisticated 3D-imaging equipment from simple 2D images has broad relevance to many other applications in medical imaging.


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