Can Glaucoma Suspect Data Help to Improve the Performance of Glaucoma Diagnosis?

Ashkan Abbasi, Bhavna Josephine Antony, Sowjanya Gowrisankaran, Gadi Wollstein, Joel S. Schuman, Hiroshi Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The presence of imbalanced datasets in medical applications can negatively affect deep learning methods. This study aims to investigate how the performance of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for glaucoma diagnosis can be improved by addressing imbalanced learning issues through utilizing glaucoma suspect samples, which are often excluded from studies because they are a mixture of healthy and preperimetric glaucomatous eyes, in a semi-supervised learning approach. Methods: A baseline 3D CNN was developed and trained on a real-world glaucoma dataset, which is naturally imbalanced (like many other real-world medical datasets). Then, three methods, including reweighting samples, data resampling to form balanced batches, and semi-supervised learning on glaucoma suspect data were applied to practically assess their impacts on the performances of the trained methods. Results: The proposed method achieved a mean accuracy of 95.24%, an F1 score of 97.42%, and an area under the curve of receiver operating characteristic (AUC ROC) of 95.64%, whereas the corresponding results for the traditional supervised training using weighted cross-entropy loss were 92.88%, 96.12%, and 92.72%, respectively. The obtained results show statistically significant improvements in all metrics. Conclusions: Exploiting glaucoma suspect eyes in a semi-supervised learning method coupled with resampling can improve glaucoma diagnosis performance by mitigating imbalanced learning issues. Translational Relevance: Clinical imbalanced datasets may negatively affect medical applications of deep learning. Utilizing data with uncertain diagnosis, such as glaucoma suspects, through a combination of semi-supervised learning and class-imbalanced learning strategies can partially address the problems of having limited data and learning on imbalanced datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • convolutional neural network
  • deep learning
  • glaucoma suspect
  • imbalanced learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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