To develop a computer-based image segmentation method for standardizing the quantification of geographic atrophy (GA).Methods:
The authors present an automated image segmentation method based on the fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm for the detection of GA lesions. The method is evaluated by comparing computerized segmentation against outlines of GA drawn by an expert grader for a longitudinal series of fundus autofluorescence images with paired 30° color fundus photographs for 10 patients.Results:
The automated segmentation method showed excellent agreement with an expert grader for fundus autofluorescence images, achieving a performance level of 94 ± 5% sensitivity and 98 ± 2% specificity on a per-pixel basis for the detection of GA area, but performed less well on color fundus photographs with a sensitivity of 47 ± 26% and specificity of 98 ± 2%. The segmentation algorithm identified 75 ± 16% of the GA border correctly in fundus autofluorescence images compared with just 42 ± 25% for color fundus photographs.Conclusion:
The results of this study demonstrate a promising computerized segmentation method that may enhance the reproducibility of GA measurement and provide an objective strategy to assist an expert in the grading of images.