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Dense Fully Convolutional Segmentation of the Optic Disc and Cup in Colour Fundus for Glaucoma Diagnosis

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  • Baidaa Al-Bander
  • Bryan Williams
  • Waleed Al-Nuaimy
  • Majid Al-Taee
  • Harry Pratt
  • Yalin Zheng
Article number87
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/03/2018
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which can cause vision loss by damaging the optic nerve. Early glaucoma detection is key to preventing vision loss yet there is a lack of noticeable early symptoms. Colour fundus photography allows the optic disc (OD) to be examined to diagnose glaucoma. Typically, this is done by measuring the vertical cup-to-disc ratio (CDR); however, glaucoma is characterised by thinning of the rim asymmetrically in the inferior-superior-temporal-nasal regions in increasing order. Automatic delineation of the OD features has potential to improve glaucoma management by allowing for this asymmetry to be considered in the measurements. Here, we propose a new deep-learning-based method to segment the OD and optic cup (OC). The core of the proposed method is DenseNet with a fully-convolutional network, whose symmetric U-shaped architecture allows pixel-wise classification. The predicted OD and OC boundaries are then used to estimate the CDR on two axes for glaucoma diagnosis. We assess the proposed method’s performance using a large retinal colour fundus dataset, outperforming state-of-the-art segmentation methods. Furthermore, we generalise our method to segment four fundus datasets from different devices without further training, outperforming the state-of-the-art on two and achieving comparable results on the remaining two.