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In Biomedical optics express ; h5-index 0.0

A deep-learning (DL) based noise reduction algorithm, in combination with a vessel shadow compensation method and a three-dimensional (3D) segmentation technique, has been developed to achieve, to the authors best knowledge, the first automatic segmentation of the anterior surface of the lamina cribrosa (LC) in volumetric ophthalmic optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans. The present DL-based OCT noise reduction algorithm was trained without the need of noise-free ground truth images by utilizing the latest development in deep learning of de-noising from single noisy images, and was demonstrated to be able to cover more locations in the retina and disease cases of different types to achieve high robustness. Compared with the original single OCT images, a 6.6 dB improvement in peak signal-to-noise ratio and a 0.65 improvement in the structural similarity index were achieved. The vessel shadow compensation method analyzes the energy profile in each A-line and automatically compensates the pixel intensity of locations underneath the detected blood vessel. Combining the noise reduction algorithm and the shadow compensation and contrast enhancement technique, medical experts were able to identify the anterior surface of the LC in 98.3% of the OCT images. The 3D segmentation algorithm employs a two-round procedure based on gradients information and information from neighboring images. An accuracy of 90.6% was achieved in a validation study involving 180 individual B-scans from 36 subjects, compared to 64.4% in raw images. This imaging and analysis strategy enables the first automatic complete view of the anterior LC surface, to the authors best knowledge, which may have the potentials in new LC parameters development for glaucoma diagnosis and management.

Mao Zaixing, Miki Atsuya, Mei Song, Dong Ying, Maruyama Kazuichi, Kawasaki Ryo, Usui Shinichi, Matsushita Kenji, Nishida Kohji, Chan Kinpui