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Melina Cavichini, Cheolhong An, Dirk-Uwe G. Bartsch, Mahima Jhingan, Manuel J. Amador-Patarroyo, Christopher P. Long, Junkang Zhang, Yiqian Wang, Alison X. Chan, Samantha Madala, Truong Nguyen, William R. Freeman; Artificial Intelligence for Automated Overlay of Fundus Camera and Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope Images. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(2):56. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.2.56.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability to align two types of retinal images taken on different platforms; color fundus (CF) photographs and infrared scanning laser ophthalmoscope (IR SLO) images using mathematical warping and artificial intelligence (AI).
We collected 109 matched pairs of CF and IR SLO images. An AI algorithm utilizing two separate networks was developed. A style transfer network (STN) was used to segment vessel structures. A registration network was used to align the segmented images to each. Neither network used a ground truth dataset. A conventional image warping algorithm was used as a control. Software displayed image pairs as a 5 × 5 checkerboard grid composed of alternating subimages. This technique permitted vessel alignment determination by human observers and 5 masked graders evaluated alignment by the AI and conventional warping in 25 fields for each image.
Our new AI method was superior to conventional warping at generating vessel alignment as judged by masked human graders (P < 0.0001). The average number of good/excellent matches increased from 90.5% to 94.4% with AI method.
AI permitted a more accurate overlay of CF and IR SLO images than conventional mathematical warping. This is a first step toward developing an AI that could allow overlay of all types of fundus images by utilizing vascular landmarks.
The ability to align and overlay imaging data from multiple instruments and manufacturers will permit better analysis of this complex data helping understand disease and predict treatment.
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