Background/aims: Automated grading has the potential to improve the efficiency of diabetic retinopathy screening services. While disease/no disease grading can be performed using only microaneurysm detection and image-quality assessment, automated recognition of other types of lesions may be advantageous. This study investigated whether inclusion of automated recognition of exudates and haemorrhages improves the detection of observable/referable diabetic retinopathy.
Methods: Images from 1253 patients with observable/referable retinopathy and 6333 patients with non-referable retinopathy were obtained from three grading centres. All images were reference-graded, and automated disease/no disease assessments were made based on microaneurysm detection and combined microaneurysm, exudate and haemorrhage detection.
Results: Introduction of algorithms for exudates and haemorrhages resulted in a statistically significant increase in the sensitivity for detection of observable/referable retinopathy from 94.9% (95% CI 93.5 to 96.0) to 96.6% (95.4 to 97.4) without affecting manual grading workload.
Conclusion: Automated detection of exudates and haemorrhages improved the detection of observable/referable retinopathy.
- diabetic retinopathy
- diagnosis, computer-assisted
- diagnostic techniques, ophthalmological
- exudates and transudates
- image interpretation, computer-assisted
- mass screening
- reference standards
- retinal hemorrhage
- severity of illness index