Macular edema is considered as a major cause of visual loss and blindness in patients with ocular fundus diseases. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technique, which has been widely applied for diagnosing macular edema due to its non-invasive and high resolution properties. However, the practical applications remain challenges due to the distorted retinal morphology and blurred boundaries near macular edema. Herein, we developed a novel deep learning model for the segmentation of macular edema in OCT images based on DeepLab framework (OCT-DeepLab). In this model, we used atrous spatial pyramid pooling (ASPP) to detect macular edema at multiple features and used the fully connected conditional random field (CRF) to refine the boundary of macular edema. OCT-DeepLab model was compared against the traditional hand-crafted methods (C-V and SBG) and the end-to-end methods (FCN, PSPnet, and U-net) to estimate the segmentation performance. OCT-DeepLab showed great advantage over the hand-crafted methods (C-V and SBG) and end-to-end methods (FCN, PSPnet, and U-net) as shown by higher precision, sensitivity, specificity, and F1-score. The segmentation performance of OCT-DeepLab was comparable to that of manual label, with an average area under the curve (AUC) of 0.963, which was superior to other end-to-end methods (FCN, PSPnet, and U-net). Collectively, OCT-DeepLab model is suitable for the segmentation of macular edema and assist ophthalmologists in the management of ocular disease.
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