Polar-Net: A Clinical-Friendly Model for Alzheimer’s Disease Detection in OCTA Images

Shouyue Liu, Jinkui Hao, Yanwu Xu, Huazhu Fu, Xinyu Guo, Jiang Liu, Yalin Zheng, Yonghuai Liu, Jiong Zhang, Yitian Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA) is a promising tool for detecting Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by imaging the retinal microvasculature. Ophthalmologists commonly use region-based analysis, such as the ETDRS grid, to study OCTA image biomarkers and understand the correlation with AD. In this work, we propose a novel deep-learning framework called Polar-Net. Our approach involves mapping OCTA images from Cartesian coordinates to polar coordinates, which allows for the use of approximate sector convolution and enables the implementation of the ETDRS grid-based regional analysis method commonly used in clinical practice. Furthermore, Polar-Net incorporates clinical prior information of each sector region into the training process, which further enhances its performance. Additionally, our framework adapts to acquire the importance of the corresponding retinal region, which helps researchers and clinicians understand the model’s decision-making process in detecting AD and assess its conformity to clinical observations. Through evaluations on private and public datasets, we have demonstrated that Polar-Net outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods and provides more valuable pathological evidence for the association between retinal vascular changes and AD. In addition, we also show that the two innovative modules introduced in our framework have a significant impact on improving overall performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2023 - 26th International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsHayit Greenspan, Hayit Greenspan, Anant Madabhushi, Parvin Mousavi, Septimiu Salcudean, James Duncan, Tanveer Syeda-Mahmood, Russell Taylor
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783031439896
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event26th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2023 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 8 Oct 202312 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume14226 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference26th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, MICCAI 2023


  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • OCTA
  • Polar Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science (all)


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