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How AI is Able to Detect Severe Thyroid Eye Disease

May 3, 2023

Hands of robot and human touching on global virtual network connection future interface. Artificial intelligence technology concept.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help diagnose thyroid eye disease and assess its severity by analyzing CT scans, research shows, according to reporting by Jake Remaly in Medscape.

The technology could automate screening and help ensure patients who have compressive optic neuropathy from severe disease receive timely care, Paul Zhou, MD, and colleagues reported at the 2023 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Thyroid eye disease, a rare autoimmune condition that leads to enlargement of extraocular muscles, fat, and connective tissue, can cause various eye-related problems that may reduce quality of life and threaten vision.

To develop a method of screening for thyroid eye disease using AI, Zhou, a researcher with Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, and his co-authors conducted a study using CT scans from patients seen at the Mass Eye and Ear.

Their dataset included hundreds of images from a control group of 20 eyes without orbital pathology, 60 eyes with thyroid eye disease but no evidence of compressive optic neuropathy, and 64 eyes with severe disease including features of compressive optic neuropathy. The researchers trained the AI model using 628 images; 157 images were used for testing.

The model had an overall accuracy of about 94 percent, the researchers reported. Two images from the control group were misclassified as having mild thyroid eye disease, and six images from the mild disease group were misclassified as normal. AI correctly classified all images from patients with severe disease.


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