Automated glaucoma detection using deep learning may increase the diagnostic rate of glaucoma to prevent blindness, but generalizable models are currently unavailable despite the use of huge training datasets. This study aims to evaluate the performance of a convolutional neural network (CNN) classifier trained with a limited number of high-quality fundus images in detecting glaucoma and methods to improve its performance across different datasets. A CNN classifier was constructed using EfficientNet B3 and 944 images collected from one medical center (core model) and externally validated using three datasets. The performance of the core model was compared with (1) the integrated model constructed by using all training images from the four datasets and (2) the dataset-specific model built by fine-tuning the core model with training images from the external datasets. The diagnostic accuracy of the core model was 95.62% but dropped to ranges of 52.5–80.0% on the external datasets. Dataset-specific models exhibited superior diagnostic performance on the external datasets compared to other models, with a diagnostic accuracy of 87.50–92.5%. The findings suggest that dataset-specific tuning of the core CNN classifier effectively improves its applicability across different datasets when increasing training images fails to achieve generalization.
- deep learning
- fundus photograph