Automatic Segmentation and Visualization of Choroid in OCT with Knowledge Infused Deep Learning

Huihong Zhang, Jianlong Yang, Kang Zhou, Fei Li, Yan Hu, Yitian Zhao, Ce Zheng, Xiulan Zhang, Jiang Liu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The choroid provides oxygen and nourishment to the outer retina thus is related to the pathology of various ocular diseases. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is advantageous in visualizing and quantifying the choroid in vivo. However, its application in the study of the choroid is still limited for two reasons. (1) The lower boundary of the choroid (choroid-sclera interface) in OCT is fuzzy, which makes the automatic segmentation difficult and inaccurate. (2) The visualization of the choroid is hindered by the vessel shadows from the superficial layers of the inner retina. In this paper, we propose to incorporate medical and imaging prior knowledge with deep learning to address these two problems. We propose a biomarker-infused global-to-local network (Bio-Net) for the choroid segmentation, which not only regularizes the segmentation via predicted choroid thickness, but also leverages a global-to-local segmentation strategy to provide global structure information and suppress overfitting. For eliminating the retinal vessel shadows, we propose a deep-learning pipeline, which firstly locate the shadows using their projection on the retinal pigment epithelium layer, then the contents of the choroidal vasculature at the shadow locations are predicted with an edge-to-texture generative adversarial inpainting network. The results show our method outperforms the existing methods on both tasks. We further apply the proposed method in a clinical prospective study for understanding the pathology of glaucoma, which demonstrates its capacity in detecting the structure and vascular changes of the choroid related to the elevation of intra-ocular pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9194234
Pages (from-to)3408-3420
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Choroid
  • glaucoma
  • optical coherence tomography
  • vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Information Management


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