Segmentation of locally varying numbers of outer retinal layers by a model selection approach.
IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2017, vol. 36, issue 6
Extraction of image-based biomarkers, such as the presence, visibility or thickness of a certain layer, from 3D optical coherence tomography data provides relevant clinical information. We present a method to simultaneously determine the number of visible layers in the outer retina and segment them. The method is based on a model selection approach with special attention given to the balance between the quality of a fit and model complexity. This will ensure that a more complex model is selected only if this is sufficiently supported by the data. The performance of the method was evaluated on healthy and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) affected eyes. Additionally, the reproducibility of automatic method and manual annotations was evaluated on healthy eyes. A good agreement between the segmentation performed manually by a medical doctor and results obtained from the automatic segmentation was found. The mean unsigned deviation for all outer retinal layers in healthy and RP affected eyes varied between 2.6 and 4.9 μm. The reproducibility of the automatic method was similar to the reproducibility of the manual segmentation. Overall, the method provides a flexible and accurate solution for determining the visibility and location of outer retinal layers and could be used as an aid for the disease diagnosis and monitoring.Link to full publication