Deep learning model using retinal vascular images for classifying schizophrenia

Abhishek Appaji, Vaishak Harish, Vittal Korann, Priyanka Devi, Arpitha Jacob, Anantha Padmanabha, Vijay Kumar, Shivarama Varambally, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Shyam Vasudeva Rao, H N Suma, Caroll A B Webers, Tos T J M Berendschot, Naren P Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Contemporary psychiatric diagnosis still relies on the subjective symptom report of the patient during a clinical interview by a psychiatrist. Given the significant variability in personal reporting and differences in the skill set of psychiatrists, it is desirable to have objective diagnostic markers that could help clinicians differentiate patients from healthy individuals. A few recent studies have reported retinal vascular abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ) using retinal fundus images. The goal of this study was to use a trained convolution neural network (CNN) deep learning algorithm to detect SCZ using retinal fundus images. A total of 327 subjects [139 patients with Schizophrenia (SCZ) and 188 Healthy volunteers (HV)] were recruited, and retinal images were acquired using a fundus camera. The images were preprocessed and fed to a convolution neural network for the classification. The model performance was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). The CNN achieved an accuracy of 95% for classifying SCZ and HV with an AUC of 0.98. Findings from the current study suggest the potential utility of deep learning to classify patients with SCZ and assist clinicians in clinical settings. Future studies need to examine the utility of the deep learning model with retinal vascular images as biomarkers in schizophrenia with larger sample sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online date14 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Biomarker
  • Fundus
  • Psychosis
  • Retina

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