Automatic detection of the foveal center in optical coherence tomography

B. Liefers, F. Venhuizen, V. Schreur, B. van Ginneken, C. Hoyng, S. Fauser, T. Theelen and C. Sánchez

Biomedical Optics Express (2017)

DOI PMID

Abstract

We propose a method for automatic detection of the foveal center in optical coherence tomography (OCT). The method is based on a pixel-wise classification of all pixels in an OCT volume using a fully convolutional neural network (CNN) with dilated convolution filters. The CNN-architecture contains anisotropic dilated filters and a shortcut connection and has been trained using a dynamic training procedure where the network identifies its own relevant training samples. The performance of the proposed method is evaluated on a data set of 400 OCT scans of patients affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at different severity levels. For 391 scans (97.75%) the method identified the foveal center with a distance to a human reference less than 750 um, with a mean (+- SD) distance of 71 um +- 107 um. Two independent observers also annotated the foveal center, with a mean distance to the reference of 57 um +- 84 um and 56 um +- 80 um, respectively. Furthermore, we evaluate variations to the proposed network architecture and training procedure, providing insight in the characteristics that led to the demonstrated performance of the proposed method.