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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

Optic-disc photography (ODP) has proven to be very useful for optic nerve evaluation in glaucoma. In real clinical practice, however, limited patient cooperation, small pupils, or media opacities can limit the performance of ODP. The purpose of this study was to propose a deep-learning approach for increased resolution and improved legibility of ODP by contrast, color, and brightness compensation. Each high-resolution original ODP was transformed into two counterparts: (1) down-scaled 'low-resolution ODPs', and (2) 'compensated high-resolution ODPs' produced via enhancement of the visibility of the optic disc margin and surrounding retinal vessels using a customized image post-processing algorithm. Then, the differences between these two counterparts were directly learned through a super-resolution generative adversarial network (SR-GAN). Finally, by inputting the high-resolution ODPs into SR-GAN, 4-times-up-scaled and overall-color-and-brightness-transformed 'enhanced ODPs' could be obtained. General ophthalmologists were instructed (1) to assess each ODP's image quality, and (2) to note any abnormal findings, at 1-month intervals. The image quality score for the enhanced ODPs was significantly higher than that for the original ODP, and the overall optic disc hemorrhage (DH)-detection accuracy was significantly higher with the enhanced ODPs. We expect that this novel deep-learning approach will be applied to various types of ophthalmic images.

Ha Ahnul, Sun Sukkyu, Kim Young Kook, Lee Jinho, Jeoung Jin Wook, Kim Hee Chan, Park Ki Ho