Artificial intelligence model for antiinterference cataract automatic diagnosis: a diagnostic accuracy study

Xing Wu, Di Xu, Tong Ma, Zhao Hui Li, Zi Ye, Fei Wang, Xiang Yang Gao, Bin Wang, Yu Zhong Chen, Zhao Hui Wang, Ji Li Chen, Yun Tao Hu, Zong Yuan Ge, Da Jiang Wang, Qiang Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. In order to achieve large-scale cataract screening and remarkable performance, several studies have applied artificial intelligence (AI) to cataract detection based on fundus images. However, the fundus images they used are original from normal optical circumstances, which is less impractical due to the existence of poor-quality fundus images for inappropriate optical conditions in actual scenarios. Furthermore, these poor-quality images are easily mistaken as cataracts because both show fuzzy imaging characteristics, which may decline the performance of cataract detection. Therefore, we aimed to develop and validate an antiinterference AI model for rapid and efficient diagnosis based on fundus images. Materials and Methods: The datasets (including both cataract and noncataract labels) were derived from the Chinese PLA general hospital. The antiinterference AI model consisted of two AI submodules, a quality recognition model for cataract labeling and a convolutional neural networks-based model for cataract classification. The quality recognition model was performed to distinguish poor-quality images from normal-quality images and further generate the pseudo labels related to image quality for noncataract. Through this, the original binary-class label (cataract and noncataract) was adjusted to three categories (cataract, noncataract with normal-quality images, and noncataract with poor-quality images), which could be used to guide the model to distinguish cataract from suspected cataract fundus images. In the cataract classification stage, the convolutional-neural-network-based model was proposed to classify cataracts based on the label of the previous stage. The performance of the model was internally validated and externally tested in real-world settings, and the evaluation indicators included area under the receiver operating curve (AUC), accuracy (ACC), sensitivity (SEN), and specificity (SPE). Results: In the internal and external validation, the antiinterference AI model showed robust performance in cataract diagnosis (three classifications with AUCs >91%, ACCs >84%, SENs >71%, and SPEs >89%). Compared with the model that was trained on the binary-class label, the antiinterference cataract model improved its performance by 10%. Conclusion: We proposed an efficient antiinterference AI model for cataract diagnosis, which could achieve accurate cataract screening even with the interference of poor-quality images and help the government formulate a more accurate aid policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number906042
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial intelligence
  • auxiliary diagnosis
  • cataract
  • convolution neural network
  • fundus image

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