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In IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

OBJECTIVE : With the scenario of limited labeled dataset, this paper introduces a deep learning-based approach that leverages Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) severity recognition performance using fundus images combined with wide-field swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (SS-OCTA).

METHODS : The proposed architecture comprises a backbone convolutional network associated with a Twofold Feature Augmentation mechanism, namely TFA-Net. The former includes multiple convolution blocks extracting representational features at various scales. The latter is constructed in a two-stage manner, i.e., the utilization of weight-sharing convolution kernels and the deployment of a Reverse Cross-Attention (RCA) stream.

RESULTS : The proposed model achieves a Quadratic Weighted Kappa rate of 90.2% on the small-sized internal KHUMC dataset. The robustness of the RCA stream is also evaluated by the single-modal Messidor dataset, of which the obtained mean Accuracy (94.8%) and Area Under Receiver Operating Characteristic (99.4%) outperform those of the state-of-the-arts significantly.

CONCLUSION : Utilizing a network strongly regularized at feature space to learn the amalgamation of different modalities is of proven effectiveness. Thanks to the widespread availability of multi-modal retinal imaging for each diabetes patient nowadays, such approach can reduce the heavy reliance on large quantity of labeled visual data.

SIGNIFICANCE : Our TFA-Net is able to coordinate hybrid information of fundus photos and wide-field SS-OCTA for exhaustively exploiting DR-oriented biomarkers. Moreover, the embedded feature-wise augmentation scheme can enrich generalization ability efficiently despite learning from small-scale labeled data.

Hua Cam-Hao, Kim Kiyoung, Huynh-The Thien, You Jong In, Yu Seung-Young, Le-Tien Thuong, Bae Sung-Ho, Lee Sungyoung