Clinical  Background


In ophthalmology, fundus screening is an economic and effective way to prevent blindness as early as possible that cased by diabetes, glaucoma, cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and many other causes. The figure below shows five simulated eye conditions when they have corresponding disease compared with normal vision.

Early detection of common ocular diseases is quite difficult since few symptoms are visible in the early stage of diseases. For example, people with longer standing diabetes have a higher chance of developing Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). The early sign of diabetic eye disease is microaneurysms, which is small and hard to detect. Macula is responsible for the central vision. Macula with fluid buildup will distort vision. Function degeneration of macula in aged people has no symptoms in the early stage. Cataract is also commonly seen in aged people. It will decrease human's vision. Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that causes damage to the optic nerve head, which iirreversible. Moreover, hypertension will change the morphological structures of blood vessels, for example, diameter changes and tortuosity alteration. It can produce cardiac-cerebral vascular diseases, like strokes and heart attacks. Finally, vision loss is also of high risk in myopia people because of progressive retinal pigment epithelial thinning and attenuation. Early detection of these diseases could prevent vision damage and other problems.  

The purpose of this challenge is to develop methods for automatic ocular disease classification. With color fundus images from left and right eyes as inputs (may use other provided information, such as patient age, sex), the goal of ocular disease classification is to classify a patient into eight catagories, including normal, diabetes, glaucoma, cataract, AMD, hypertension, myopia and other diseases/abnormalities.  



Figure. Common eye disease simulations compared with normal vision. (Source: https://nei.nih.gov/health/examples)




在眼科中,眼底筛查是一种经济有效的方法,可以尽早预防因糖尿病,青光眼,白内障,年龄相关性黄斑变性和许多其他原因引起的失明。上图展示了与正常视力相比,具有五种对应疾病的模拟视觉状况。

早期发现常见的眼部疾病是非常困难的,因为在疾病的早期阶段很少见到症状。例如,患有较长期糖尿病的人发展为糖尿病视网膜病变和糖尿病性黄斑水肿的机会较高。糖尿病眼病的早期征兆是微动脉瘤,其微小且难以检测。黄斑保证人的中心视力。黄斑积液会扭曲视力。老年人黄斑功能退化在早期没有症状。白内障也常见于老年人。它会降低人类的视力。青光眼是指一组导致视神经乳头受损的疾病,这是不可逆转的。此外,高血压会改变血管的形态结构,例如,直径变化和曲折改变。它可以产生心脑血管疾病,如中风和心脏病。最后,由于进行性视网膜色素上皮变薄和衰减,视力丧失在近视人群中也具有高风险。早期发现这些疾病可以预防视力损害和其他问题。

这个竞赛的目的是开发自动眼病分类方法。左眼和右眼的彩色眼底图像作为输入(可以使用其他提供的信息,如患者的年龄、性别等),眼部疾病分类的目标是将患者分为八个类别,包括正常,糖尿病,青光眼,白内障,年龄相关性黄斑变性,高血压,近视和其他疾病/异常。