Purpose: To evaluate the predictive ability of a deep learning-based algorithm to determine long-term best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCVA) outcomes in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nARMD) patients using baseline swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and OCT-angiography (OCT-A) data.
Methods: In this phase IV, retrospective, proof of concept, single center study, SS-OCT data from 17 previously treated nARMD eyes was used to assess retinal layer thicknesses, as well as quantify intraretinal fluid (IRF), subretinal fluid (SRF), and serous pigment epithelium detachments (PEDs) using a novel deep learning-based, macular fluid segmentation algorithm. Baseline OCT and OCT-A morphological features and fluid measurements were correlated using the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) to changes in BCVA from baseline to week 52.
Results: Total retinal fluid (IRF, SRF and PED) volume at baseline had the strongest correlation to improvement in BCVA at month 12 (PCC = 0.652, p = 0.005). Fluid was subsequently sub-categorized into IRF, SRF and PED, with PED volume having the next highest correlation (PCC = 0.648, p = 0.005) to BCVA improvement. Average total retinal thickness in isolation demonstrated poor correlation (PCC = 0.334, p = 0.189). When two features, mean choroidal neovascular membranes (CNVM) size and total fluid volume, were combined and correlated with visual outcomes, the highest correlation increased to PCC = 0.695 (p = 0.002).
Conclusions: In isolation, total fluid volume most closely correlates with change in BCVA values between baseline and week 52. In combination with complimentary information from OCT-A, an improvement in the linear correlation score was observed. Average total retinal thickness provided a lower correlation, and thus provides a lower predictive outcome than alternative metrics assessed. Clinically, a machine-learning approach to analyzing fluid metrics in combination with lesion size may provide an advantage in personalizing therapy and predicting BCVA outcomes at week 52.