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Minhaj Alam, Devrim Toslak, Jennifer I. Lim, Xincheng Yao; Color Fundus Image Guided Artery-Vein Differentiation in Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(12):4953-4962. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.18-24831.
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This study aimed to develop a method for automated artery-vein classification in optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), and to verify that differential artery-vein analysis can improve the sensitivity of OCTA detection and staging of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
For each patient, the color fundus image was used to guide the artery-vein differentiation in the OCTA image. Traditional mean blood vessel caliber (m-BVC) and mean blood vessel tortuosity (m-BVT) in OCTA images were quantified for control and DR groups. Artery BVC (a-BVC), vein BVC (v-BVC), artery BVT (a-BVT), and vein BVT (a-BVT) were calculated, and then the artery-vein ratio (AVR) of BVC (AVR-BVC) and AVR of BVT (AVR-BVT) were quantified for comparative analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were used as performance metrics of artery-vein classification. One-way, multilabel ANOVA with Bonferroni's test and Student's t-test were employed for statistical analysis.
Forty eyes of 20 control subjects and 80 eyes of 48 NPDR patients (18 mild, 16 moderate, and 14 severe NPDR) were evaluated in this study. The color fundus image–guided artery-vein differentiation reliably identified individual arteries and veins in OCTA. AVR-BVC and AVR-BVT provided significant (P < 0.001) and moderate (P < 0.05) improvements, respectively, in detecting and classifying NPDR stages, compared with traditional m-BVC analysis.
Color fundus image–guided artery-vein classification provides a feasible method to differentiate arteries and veins in OCTA. Differential artery-vein analysis can improve the sensitivity of OCTA detection and classification of DR. AVR-BVC is the most-sensitive feature, which can classify control and mild NPDR, providing a quantitative biomarker for objective detection of early DR.
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