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Artificial intelligence-assisted management of retinal detachment from ultra-widefield fundus images based on weakly-supervised approach.

BACKGROUND: Retinal detachment (RD) is a common sight-threatening condition in the emergency department. Early postural intervention based on detachment regions can improve visual prognosis.

METHODS: We developed a weakly supervised model with 24,208 ultra-widefield fundus images to localize and coarsely outline the anatomical RD regions. The customized preoperative postural guidance was generated for patients accordingly. The localization performance was then compared with the baseline model and an ophthalmologist according to the reference standard established by the retina experts.

RESULTS: In the 48-partition lesion detection, our proposed model reached an 86.42% (95% confidence interval (CI): 85.81-87.01%) precision and an 83.27% (95%CI: 82.62-83.90%) recall with an average precision (PA) of 0.9132. In contrast, the baseline model achieved a 92.67% (95%CI: 92.11-93.19%) precision and limited recall of 68.07% (95%CI: 67.25-68.88%). Our holistic lesion localization performance was comparable to the ophthalmologist's 89.16% (95%CI: 88.75-89.55%) precision and 83.38% (95%CI: 82.91-83.84%) recall. As to the performance of four-zone anatomical localization, compared with the ground truth, the un-weighted Cohen's κ coefficients were 0.710(95%CI: 0.659-0.761) and 0.753(95%CI: 0.702-0.804) for the weakly-supervised model and the general ophthalmologist, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The proposed weakly-supervised deep learning model showed outstanding performance comparable to that of the general ophthalmologist in localizing and outlining the RD regions. Hopefully, it would greatly facilitate managing RD patients, especially for medical referral and patient education.

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