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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

BACKGROUNDS AND OBJECTIVE : Evaluating the tympanic membrane (TM) using an otoendoscope is the first and most important step in various clinical fields. Unfortunately, most lesions of TM have more than one diagnostic name. Therefore, we built a database of otoendoscopic images with multiple diseases and investigated the impact of concurrent diseases on the classification performance of deep learning networks.

STUDY DESIGN : This retrospective study investigated the impact of concurrent diseases in the tympanic membrane on diagnostic performance using multi-class classification. A customized architecture of EfficientNet-B4 was introduced to predict the primary class (otitis media with effusion (OME), chronic otitis media (COM), and 'None' without OME and COM) and secondary classes (attic cholesteatoma, myringitis, otomycosis, and ventilating tube).

RESULTS : Deep-learning classifications accurately predicted the primary class with dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 95.19%, while misidentification between COM and OME rarely occurred. Among the secondary classes, the diagnosis of attic cholesteatoma and myringitis achieved a DSC of 88.37% and 88.28%, respectively. Although concurrent diseases hampered the prediction performance, there was only a 0.44% probability of inaccurately predicting two or more secondary classes (29/6,630). The inference time per image was 2.594 ms on average.

CONCLUSION : Deep-learning classification can be used to support clinical decision-making by accurately and reproducibly predicting tympanic membrane changes in real time, even in the presence of multiple concurrent diseases.

Choi Yeonjoo, Chae Jihye, Park Keunwoo, Hur Jaehee, Kweon Jihoon, Ahn Joong Ho