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Approved research

Developing the potential of UK Biobank Retinal Photographs and OCT Scans: Grading of images by NetwORC UK for The UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium

Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Foster
Approved Research ID: 6507
Approval date: July 1st 2015

Lay summary

The colour digital photographs and OCT images for 68,151 participants contained by UK Biobank (UKBB) provide a rich research resource, but require detailed grading of disease features to be analysed. We aim to perform an initial grading, and then study detailed features of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, vitreoretinal interface disorders and anomalous optic disc where present in participants. Lifestyle measures, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, medication usage, anthropometry, adiposity and relevant biomarkers are available for this cohort from the baseline examination, allowing an extensive analysis of the cross-sectional relationship between risk factors and prevalent disease. UKBB aims to elucidate the combined effects of different factors on the risk of diseases. The data obtained from the proposed research will identify the presence of a range of retinal diseases; and quantify the relationship between known and new risk factors for these diseases. UKBB provides data to conduct probably the largest scale epidemiological studies to date, helping to assess the main causes of chronic eye diseases in older age. As the results obtained from this work will be returned to UKBB, this research will enable future epidemiological research to continue, maintaining UKBB purpose in facilitating future research. After retinal photos and OCT images are obtained, standardised, research-standard grading will be conducted to determine the presence and frequency of signs of DR, AMD, glaucoma, vitreomacular interface abnormalities or anomalous optic discs. Images are logged for identification and their status in the grading pathway is monitored. All variables are entered directly into a custom built database. CARF personnel verify and clean variables, which is then sent to the appropriate data management centre for analysis. NetwORC UK graders then complete the grading process. Each grading form is automatically verified and validated and the data stored in the database. 68,151 people with retinal photographs and OCT images