Deep learning based joint segmentation and characterization of multi-class retinal fluid lesions on OCT scans for clinical use in anti-VEGF therapy

Bilal Hassan, Shiyin Qin, Ramsha Ahmed, Taimur Hassan, Abdel Hakeem Taguri, Shahrukh Hashmi, Naoufel Werghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: In anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy, an accurate estimation of multi-class retinal fluid (MRF) is required for the activity prescription and intravitreal dose. This study proposes an end-to-end deep learning-based retinal fluids segmentation network (RFS-Net) to segment and recognize three MRF lesion manifestations, namely, intraretinal fluid (IRF), subretinal fluid (SRF), and pigment epithelial detachment (PED), from multi-vendor optical coherence tomography (OCT) imagery. The proposed image analysis tool will optimize anti-VEGF therapy and contribute to reducing the inter- and intra-observer variability. Method: The proposed RFS-Net architecture integrates the atrous spatial pyramid pooling (ASPP), residual, and inception modules in the encoder path to learn better features and conserve more global information for precise segmentation and characterization of MRF lesions. The RFS-Net model is trained and validated using OCT scans from multiple vendors (Topcon, Cirrus, Spectralis), collected from three publicly available datasets. The first dataset consisted of OCT volumes obtained from 112 subjects (a total of 11,334 B-scans) is used for both training and evaluation purposes. Moreover, the remaining two datasets are only used for evaluation purposes to check the trained RFS-Net's generalizability on unseen OCT scans. The two evaluation datasets contain a total of 1572 OCT B-scans from 1255 subjects. The performance of the proposed RFS-Net model is assessed through various evaluation metrics. Results: The proposed RFS-Net model achieved the mean F1 scores of 0.762, 0.796, and 0.805 for segmenting IRF, SRF, and PED. Moreover, with the automated segmentation of the three retinal manifestations, the RFS-Net brings a considerable gain in efficiency compared to the tedious and demanding manual segmentation procedure of the MRF. Conclusions: Our proposed RFS-Net is a potential diagnostic tool for the automatic segmentation of MRF (IRF, SRF, and PED) lesions. It is expected to strengthen the inter-observer agreement, and standardization of dosimetry is envisaged as a result.

Original languageBritish English
Article number104727
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Deep learning
  • Lesions detection
  • Medical image analysis
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Radiomics
  • Retinal fluids segmentation


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