Multi-Modal Retinal Image Classification With Modality-Specific Attention Network


Recently, automatic diagnostic approaches have been widely used to classify ocular diseases. Most of these approaches are based on a single imaging modality (e.g., fundus photography or optical coherence tomography (OCT)), which usually only reflect the oculopathy to a certain extent, and neglect the modality-specificinformation among different imaging modalities. This paper proposes a novel modality-specific attention network (MSAN) for multi-modal retinal image classification, which can effectively utilize the modality-specific diagnostic features from fundus and OCT images. The MSAN comprises two attention modules to extract the modality-specific features from fundus and OCT images, respectively.Specifically,for the fundus image, ophthalmologists need to observe local and global pathologies at multiple scales (e.g., from microaneurysms at the micrometer level, optic disc at millimeter level to blood vessels through the whole eye). Therefore, we propose a multiscale attention module to extract both the local and global features from fundus images. Moreover, large background regions exist in the OCT image, which is meaningless for diagnosis. Thus, a region-guided attention module is proposed to encode the retinal layer-related features and ignore the background in OCT images. Finally, we fuse the modality-specific features to form a multi-modal feature and train the multi-modal retinal image classification network. The fusion of modality-specific features allows the model to combine the advantages of fundus and OCT modality for a more accurate diagnosis. Experimental results on a clinically acquired multi-modal retinal image (fundus and OCT) dataset demonstrate that our MSAN outperforms other wellknown single-modal and multi-modal retinal image classifi- cation methods.