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Julian Lo, Morgan Heisler, Vinicius Vanzan, Sonja Karst, Ivana Zadro Matovinović, Sven Lončarić, Eduardo V. Navajas, Mirza Faisal Beg, Marinko V. Šarunić; Microvasculature Segmentation and Intercapillary Area Quantification of the Deep Vascular Complex Using Transfer Learning. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(2):38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.2.38.
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Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) permits visualization of the changes to the retinal circulation due to diabetic retinopathy (DR), a microvascular complication of diabetes. We demonstrate accurate segmentation of the vascular morphology for the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) and deep vascular complex (DVC) using a convolutional neural network (CNN) for quantitative analysis.
The main CNN training dataset consisted of retinal OCT-A with a 6 × 6-mm field of view (FOV), acquired using a Zeiss PlexElite. Multiple-volume acquisition and averaging enhanced the vasculature contrast used for constructing the ground truth for neural network training. We used transfer learning from a CNN trained on smaller FOVs of the SCP acquired using different OCT instruments. Quantitative analysis of perfusion was performed on the resulting automated vasculature segmentations in representative patients with DR.
The automated segmentations of the OCT-A images maintained the distinct morphologies of the SCP and DVC. The network segmented the SCP with an accuracy and Dice index of 0.8599 and 0.8618, respectively, and 0.7986 and 0.8139, respectively, for the DVC. The inter-rater comparisons for the SCP had an accuracy and Dice index of 0.8300 and 0.6700, respectively, and 0.6874 and 0.7416, respectively, for the DVC.
Transfer learning reduces the amount of manually annotated images required while producing high-quality automatic segmentations of the SCP and DVC that exceed inter-rater comparisons. The resulting intercapillary area quantification provides a tool for in-depth clinical analysis of retinal perfusion.
Accurate retinal microvasculature segmentation with the CNN results in improved perfusion analysis in diabetic retinopathy.
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