British Journal of Ophthalmology, July 2021
To evaluate the performances of deep learning (DL) algorithms for detection of presence and extent pterygium, based on colour anterior segment photographs (ASPs) taken from slit-lamp and hand-held cameras.
Referable pterygium was defined as having extension towards the cornea from the limbus of >2.50 mm or base width at the limbus of >5.00 mm. 2503 images from the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Diseases (SEED) study were used as the development set. Algorithms were validated on an internal set from the SEED cohort (629 images (55.3% pterygium, 8.4% referable pterygium)), and tested on two external clinic-based sets (set 1 with 2610 images (2.8% pterygium, 0.7% referable pterygium, from slit-lamp ASP); and set 2 with 3701 images, 2.5% pterygium, 0.9% referable pterygium, from hand-held ASP).
The algorithm’s area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for detection of any pterygium was 99.5%(sensitivity=98.6%; specificity=99.0%) in internal test set, 99.1% (sensitivity=95.9%, specificity=98.5%) in external test set 1 and 99.7% (sensitivity=100.0%; specificity=88.3%) in external test set 2. For referable pterygium, the algorithm’s AUROC was 98.5% (sensitivity=94.0%; specificity=95.3%) in internal test set, 99.7% (sensitivity=87.2%; specificity=99.4%) in external set 1 and 99.0% (sensitivity=94.3%; specificity=98.0%) in external set 2.
DL algorithms based on ASPs can detect presence of and referable-level pterygium with optimal sensitivity and specificity. These algorithms, particularly if used with a handheld camera, may potentially be used as a simple screening tool for detection of referable pterygium. Further validation in community setting is warranted.
DL algorithms based on ASPs can detect presence of and referable-level pterygium optimally, and may be used as a simple screening tool for the detection of referable pterygium in community screenings.