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In Translational vision science & technology

Purpose : To develop a novel method based on biomechanical parameters calculated from raw corneal dynamic deformation videos to quickly and accurately diagnose keratoconus using machine learning.

Methods : The keratoconus group was included according to Rabinowitz's criteria, and the normal group included corneal refractive surgery candidates. Independent biomechanical parameters were calculated from dynamic corneal deformation videos. A novel neural network model was trained to diagnose keratoconus. Tenfold cross-validation was performed, and the sample set was divided into a training set for training, a validation set for parameter validation, and a testing set for performance evaluation. External validation was performed to evaluate the model's generalizability.

Results : A novel intelligent diagnostic model for keratoconus based on a five-layer feedforward network was constructed by calculating four biomechanical characteristics, including time of the first applanation, deformation amplitude at the highest concavity, central corneal thickness, and radius at the highest concavity. The model was able to diagnose keratoconus with 99.6% accuracy, 99.3% sensitivity, 100% specificity, and 100% precision in the sample set (n = 276), and it achieved an accuracy of 98.7%, sensitivity of 97.4%, specificity of 100%, and precision of 100% in the external validation set (n = 78).

Conclusions : In the absence of corneal topographic examination, rapid and accurate diagnosis of keratoconus is possible with the aid of machine learning. Our study provides a new potential approach and sheds light on the diagnosis of keratoconus from a purely corneal biomechanical perspective.

Translational Relevance : Our findings could help improve the diagnosis of keratoconus based on corneal biomechanical properties.

Tan Zuoping, Chen Xuan, Li Kangsheng, Liu Yan, Cao Huazheng, Li Jing, Jhanji Vishal, Zou Haohan, Liu Fenglian, Wang Riwei, Wang Yan