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    Meet a researcher

    Dr Zhichao Wu, Centre for Eye Research Australia

    Using OCT to better identify patients at risk

    Researcher Dr Zhichao Wu is investigating techniques to better identify who is at high risk of progressing to late stage wet (neovascular) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Those people could then be monitored more closely. 

    Dr Wu is from the Centre for Eye Research Australia. This study, over three years with $240,000 from the MDFA Research Grants Program, has the potential to provide findings that can be used immediately in clinical practice.

    Effective treatments are available for wet AMD, but often vision loss occurs because of delays and challenges with detecting the development of the disease.

    Dr Wu says the imaging technique optical coherence tomography (OCT) shows promise as a powerful imaging technique for identifying new prognostic biomarkers of wet AMD development. His project will also use OCT angiography (OCTA) and artificial intelligence (AI) methods to exploit the wealth of information available in these scans. 

    Dr Wu is conducting a three-year study where OCT and OCTA imaging will be obtained from 200 people with intermediate AMD at baseline. They’ll then be reviewed to determine the development of wet AMD. Novel imaging-based biomarkers will then be automatically extracted to calculate a multi-attribute risk score (MARS) for wet AMD development. 

    An unsupervised deep learning approach will also be used to calculate a MARS, and the performance of both approaches will be evaluated.

    Dr Wu’s project is called ‘Novel prognostic imaging biomarkers for improved risk stratification in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration’. He explains more about the project in this interview with MDFA volunteer, Clare Ashen.

    Posted: 10 October 2019

    This study has the potential to provide findings that can be used immediately in clinical practice.

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