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Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2019 Oct;11764:120-128. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-32239-7_14. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Fully Convolutional Boundary Regression for Retina OCT Segmentation.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Department of Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97201, USA.
Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


A major goal of analyzing retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) images is retinal layer segmentation. Accurate automated algorithms for segmenting smooth continuous layer surfaces, with correct hierarchy (topology) are desired for monitoring disease progression. State-of-the-art methods use a trained classifier to label each pixel into background, layer, or surface pixels. The final step of extracting the desired smooth surfaces with correct topology are mostly performed by graph methods (e.g. shortest path, graph cut). However, manually building a graph with varying constraints by retinal region and pathology and solving the minimization with specialized algorithms will degrade the flexibility and time efficiency of the whole framework. In this paper, we directly model the distribution of surface positions using a deep network with a fully differentiable soft argmax to obtain smooth, continuous surfaces in a single feed forward operation. A special topology module is used in the deep network both in the training and testing stages to guarantee the surface topology. An extra deep network output branch is also used for predicting lesion and layers in a pixel-wise labeling scheme. The proposed method was evaluated on two publicly available data sets of healthy controls, subjects with multiple sclerosis, and diabetic macular edema; it achieves state-of-the art sub-pixel results.


Deep learning segmentation; Retina OCT; Surface segmentation

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