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Clara Llorens-Quintana, Laura Rico-del-Viejo, Piotr Syga, David Madrid-Costa, D. Robert Iskander; A Novel Automated Approach for Infrared-Based Assessment of Meibomian Gland Morphology. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(4):17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.4.17.
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We present and validate a new methodology for analyzing, in an automated and objective fashion, infrared images of the meibomian glands (MG).
The developed algorithm consists of three main steps: selection of the region of interest, detection of MG, and analysis of MG morphometric parameters and dropout area (DOA). Additionally, a new approach to quantify the irregularity of MG is introduced. We recruited 149 adults from a general population. Infrared meibography, using Keratograph 5M, was performed. Images were assessed and graded subjectively (Meiboscore) by two experienced clinicians and objectively with the proposed automated method.
The correlation of subjective DOA assessment between the two clinicians was poor and the average percentage of DOA estimated objectively for each Meiboscore group did not lie within their limits. The objective assessment showed lower variability of meibography grading than that obtained subjectively. Additionally, a new grading scale of MG DOA that reduces intraclass variation is proposed. Reported values of MG length and width were inversely proportional to the DOA. Gland irregularity was objectively quantified.
The proposed automatic and objective method provides accurate estimates of the DOA as well as additional morphologic parameters that could add valuable information in MG dysfunction understanding and diagnosis.
This approach highlights the shortcomings of currently used subjective methods, and provides the clinicians with an objective, quantitative and less variable alternative for assessing MG in a noninvasive and automated fashion. It provides a viable alternative to more time-consuming subjective methods.
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