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Yalin Zheng, Jagdeep Singh Gandhi, Alexandros N. Stangos, Claudio Campa, Deborah M. Broadbent, Simon P. Harding; Automated Segmentation of Foveal Avascular Zone in Fundus Fluorescein Angiography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(7):3653-3659. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4935.
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To describe and evaluate the performance of a computerized automated segmentation technique for use in quantification of the foveal avascular zone (FAZ).
A computerized technique for automated segmentation of the FAZ using images from fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) was applied to 26 transit-phase images obtained from patients with various grades of diabetic retinopathy. The area containing the FAZ zone was first extracted from the original image and smoothed by a Gaussian kernel (σ = 1.5). An initializing contour was manually placed inside the FAZ of the smoothed image and iteratively moved by the segmentation program toward the FAZ boundary. Five tests with different initializing curves were run on each of 26 images to assess reproducibility. The accuracy of the program was also validated by comparing results obtained by the program with the FAZ boundaries manually delineated by medical retina specialists. Interobserver performance was then evaluated by comparing delineations from two of the experts.
One-way analysis of variance indicated that the disparities between different tests were not statistically significant, signifying excellent reproducibility for the computer program. There was a statistically significant linear correlation between the results obtained by automation and manual delineations by experts.
This automated segmentation program can produce highly reproducible results that are comparable to those made by clinical experts. It has the potential to assist in the detection and management of foveal ischemia and to be integrated into automated grading systems.
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