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In Journal of clinical medicine

BACKGROUND : To investigate the effects of deep learning denoising on quantitative vascular measurements and the quality of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) images.

METHODS : U-Net-based deep learning denoising with an averaged OCTA data set as teacher data was used in this study. One hundred and thirteen patients with various retinal diseases were examined. An OCT HS-100 (Canon inc., Tokyo, Japan) performed a 3 × 3 mm2 superficial capillary plexus layer slab scan centered on the fovea 10 times. A single-shot image was defined as the original image and the 10-frame averaged image and denoised image generated from the original image using deep learning denoising for the analyses were obtained. The main parameters measured were the OCTA image acquisition time, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), vessel density (VD), vessel length density (VLD), vessel diameter index (VDI), and fractal dimension (FD) of the original, averaged, and denoised images.

RESULTS : One hundred and twelve eyes of 108 patients were studied. Deep learning denoising removed the background noise and smoothed the rough vessel surface. The image acquisition times for the original, averaged, and denoised images were 16.6 ± 2.4, 285 ± 38, and 22.1 ± 2.4 s, respectively (P < 0.0001). The CNR and PSNR of the denoised image were significantly higher than those of the original image (P < 0.0001). There were significant differences in the VLD, VDI, and FD (P < 0.0001) after deep learning denoising.

CONCLUSIONS : The deep learning denoising method achieved high speed and high quality OCTA imaging. This method may be a viable alternative to the multiple image averaging technique.

Kadomoto Shin, Uji Akihito, Muraoka Yuki, Akagi Tadamichi, Tsujikawa Akitaka


OCT angiography, averaging, deep learning, denoising