Deep Learning for Glaucoma Detection and Identification of Novel Diagnostic Areas in Diverse Real-World Datasets

Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2022 May 2;11(5):11. doi: 10.1167/tvst.11.5.11.


Purpose: To develop a three-dimensional (3D) deep learning algorithm to detect glaucoma using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) optic nerve head (ONH) cube scans and validate its performance on ethnically diverse real-world datasets and on cropped ONH scans.

Methods: In total, 2461 Cirrus SD-OCT ONH scans of 1012 eyes were obtained from the Glaucoma Clinic Imaging Database at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, from March 2010 to December 2017. A 3D deep neural network was trained and tested on this unique raw OCT cube dataset to identify a multimodal definition of glaucoma excluding other concomitant retinal disease and optic neuropathies. A total of 1022 scans of 363 glaucomatous eyes (207 patients) and 542 scans of 291 normal eyes (167 patients) from Stanford were included in training, and 142 scans of 48 glaucomatous eyes (27 patients) and 61 scans of 39 normal eyes (23 patients) were included in the validation set. A total of 3371 scans (Cirrus SD-OCT) from four different countries were used for evaluation of the model: the non overlapping test dataset from Stanford (USA) consisted of 694 scans: 241 scans from 113 normal eyes of 66 patients and 453 scans of 157 glaucomatous eyes of 89 patients. The datasets from Hong Kong (total of 1625 scans; 666 OCT scans from 196 normal eyes of 99 patients and 959 scans of 277 glaucomatous eyes of 155 patients), India (total of 672 scans; 211 scans from 147 normal eyes of 98 patients and 461 scans from 171 glaucomatous eyes of 101 patients), and Nepal (total of 380 scans; 158 scans from 143 normal eyes of 89 patients and 222 scans from 174 glaucomatous eyes of 109 patients) were used for external evaluation. The performance of the model was then evaluated on manually cropped scans from Stanford using a new algorithm called DiagFind. The ONH region was cropped by identifying the appropriate zone of the image in the expected location relative to Bruch's Membrane Opening (BMO) using a commercially available imaging software. Subgroup analyses were performed in groups stratified by eyes, myopia severity of glaucoma, and on a set of glaucoma cases without field defects. Saliency maps were generated to highlight the areas the model used to make a prediction. The model's performance was compared to that of a glaucoma specialist using all available information on a subset of cases.

Results: The 3D deep learning system achieved area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.90-0.92), 0.80 (95% CI, 0.78-0.82), 0.94 (95% CI, 0.93-0.96), and 0.87 (95% CI, 0.85-0.90) on Stanford, Hong Kong, India, and Nepal datasets, respectively, to detect perimetric glaucoma and AUC values of 0.99 (95% CI, 0.97-1.00), 0.96 (95% CI, 0.93-1.00), and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.89-0.95) on severe, moderate, and mild myopia cases, respectively, and an AUC of 0.77 on cropped scans. The model achieved an AUC value of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.93) versus that of the human grader with an AUC value of 0.91 on the same subset of scans (\(P=0.99\)). The performance of the model in terms of recall on glaucoma cases without field defects was found to be 0.76 (0.68-0.85). Saliency maps highlighted the lamina cribrosa in glaucomatous eyes versus superficial retina in normal eyes as the regions associated with classification.

Conclusions: A 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) trained on SD-OCT ONH cubes can distinguish glaucoma from normal cases in diverse datasets obtained from four different countries. The model trained on additional random cropping data augmentation performed reasonably on manually cropped scans, indicating the importance of lamina cribrosa in glaucoma detection.

Translational relevance: A 3D CNN trained on SD-OCT ONH cubes was developed to detect glaucoma in diverse datasets obtained from four different countries and on cropped scans. The model identified lamina cribrosa as the region associated with glaucoma detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Deep Learning*
  • Glaucoma* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Myopia*
  • Optic Disk* / diagnostic imaging
  • Optic Nerve Diseases* / diagnosis