Texas Retina Associates’ Rene Y. Choi, MD, published an article titled “Variability in Plus Disease Identified Using a Deep Learning-Based Retinopathy of Prematurity Severity Scale” in the latest issue of Ophthalmology Retina, a journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide, but clinical diagnosis is subjective, which leads to treatment differences. Plus disease refers to a worsening of ROP that can occur when the blood vessels of the retina become enlarged and twisted. Proper diagnosis of plus disease is critical to making proper treatment decisions and preventing retinal detachment.
In this study, Dr. Choi and his fellow researchers set out to determine objective differences in the diagnosis of plus disease between clinicians using an automated ROP vascular severity score. Applying a deep learning algorithm, a form of artificial intelligence, they observed variability both between and within examiners in the diagnosis of plus disease. Through a prospective evaluation of clinical trial data, they found that using an objective measurement of vascular severity may help to better define the minimum necessary level of vascular severity for the diagnosis of plus disease and how other clinical features such as zone, stage, and extent of peripheral disease ought to be incorporated in treatment decisions. You can read Dr. Choi’s full abstract here.
Dr. Choi also presented these research findings at the 2019 Retina Society Annual Meeting and the 2019 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Conference.