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In Eye and vision (London, England)

Background : To describe the diagnostic performance of a deep learning algorithm in discriminating early-stage Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) without clinically evident corneal edema from healthy and late-stage FECD eyes using high-definition optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT).

Methods : In this observational case-control study, 104 eyes (53 FECD eyes and 51 healthy controls) received HD-OCT imaging (Envisu R2210, Bioptigen, Buffalo Grove, IL, USA) using a 6 mm radial scan pattern centered on the corneal vertex. FECD was clinically categorized into early (without corneal edema) and late-stage (with corneal edema). A total of 18,720 anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) images (9180 healthy; 5400 early-stage FECD; 4140 late-stage FECD) of 104 eyes (81 patients) were used to develop and validate a deep learning classification network to differentiate early-stage FECD eyes from healthy eyes and those with clinical edema. Using 5-fold cross-validation on the dataset containing 11,340 OCT images (63 eyes), the network was trained with 80% of these images (3420 healthy; 3060 early-stage FECD; 2700 late-stage FECD), then tested with 20% (720 healthy; 720 early-stage FECD; 720 late-stage FECD). Thereafter, a final model was trained with the entire dataset consisting the 11,340 images and validated with a remaining 7380 images of unseen AS-OCT scans of 41 eyes (5040 healthy; 1620 early-stage FECD 720 late-stage FECD). Visualization of learned features was done, and area under curve (AUC), specificity, and sensitivity of the prediction outputs for healthy, early and late-stage FECD were computed.

Results : The final model achieved an AUC of 0.997 ± 0.005 with 91% sensitivity and 97% specificity in detecting early-FECD; an AUC of 0.974 ± 0.005 with a specificity of 92% and a sensitivity up to 100% in detecting late-stage FECD; and an AUC of 0.998 ± 0.001 with a specificity 98% and a sensitivity of 99% in discriminating healthy corneas from all FECD.

Conclusion : Deep learning algorithm is an accurate autonomous novel diagnostic tool of FECD with very high sensitivity and specificity that can be used to grade FECD severity with high accuracy.

Eleiwa Taher, Elsawy Amr, Özcan Eyüp, Abou Shousha Mohamed


Corneal endothelium, Descemet’s membrane, Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, Optical coherence tomography