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PLoS One. 2017 Mar 17;12(3):e0168606. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168606. eCollection 2017.

Localization and diagnosis framework for pediatric cataracts based on slit-lamp images using deep features of a convolutional neural network.

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School of Computer Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi'an, China.
School of Software, Xidian University, Xi'an, China.
State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
School of Mathematics and Statistics, Xidian University, Xi'an, China.


Slit-lamp images play an essential role for diagnosis of pediatric cataracts. We present a computer vision-based framework for the automatic localization and diagnosis of slit-lamp images by identifying the lens region of interest (ROI) and employing a deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN). First, three grading degrees for slit-lamp images are proposed in conjunction with three leading ophthalmologists. The lens ROI is located in an automated manner in the original image using two successive applications of Candy detection and the Hough transform, which are cropped, resized to a fixed size and used to form pediatric cataract datasets. These datasets are fed into the CNN to extract high-level features and implement automatic classification and grading. To demonstrate the performance and effectiveness of the deep features extracted in the CNN, we investigate the features combined with support vector machine (SVM) and softmax classifier and compare these with the traditional representative methods. The qualitative and quantitative experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method offers exceptional mean accuracy, sensitivity and specificity: classification (97.07%, 97.28%, and 96.83%) and a three-degree grading area (89.02%, 86.63%, and 90.75%), density (92.68%, 91.05%, and 93.94%) and location (89.28%, 82.70%, and 93.08%). Finally, we developed and deployed a potential automatic diagnostic software for ophthalmologists and patients in clinical applications to implement the validated model.

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