Translating color fundus photography to indocyanine green angiography using deep-learning for age-related macular degeneration screening

Ruoyu Chen, Weiyi Zhang, Fan Song, Honghua Yu, Dan Cao, Yingfeng Zheng (Corresponding Author), Mingguang He (Corresponding Author), Danli Shi (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central vision impairment among the elderly. Effective and accurate AMD screening tools are urgently needed. Indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) is a well-established technique for detecting chorioretinal diseases, but its invasive nature and potential risks impede its routine clinical application. Here, we innovatively developed a deep-learning model capable of generating realistic ICGA images from color fundus photography (CF) using generative adversarial networks (GANs) and evaluated its performance in AMD classification. The model was developed with 99,002 CF-ICGA pairs from a tertiary center. The quality of the generated ICGA images underwent objective evaluation using mean absolute error (MAE), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), structural similarity measures (SSIM), etc., and subjective evaluation by two experienced ophthalmologists. The model generated realistic early, mid and late-phase ICGA images, with SSIM spanned from 0.57 to 0.65. The subjective quality scores ranged from 1.46 to 2.74 on the five-point scale (1 refers to the real ICGA image quality, Kappa 0.79–0.84). Moreover, we assessed the application of translated ICGA images in AMD screening on an external dataset (n = 13887) by calculating area under the ROC curve (AUC) in classifying AMD. Combining generated ICGA with real CF images improved the accuracy of AMD classification with AUC increased from 0.93 to 0.97 (P < 0.001). These results suggested that CF-to-ICGA translation can serve as a cross-modal data augmentation method to address the data hunger often encountered in deep-learning research, and as a promising add-on for population-based AMD screening. Real-world validation is warranted before clinical usage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024


  • Macular degeneration
  • Medical imaging


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