Introduction: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is one of the most common fundus diseases. Many rural areas of China have few ophthalmologists, and ophthalmologic ultrasound examination is of great significance for remote diagnosis of RRD. Therefore, this study aimed to develop and evaluate a deep learning (DL) model, to be used for automated RRD diagnosis based on ophthalmologic ultrasound images, in order to support timely diagnosis of RRD in rural and remote areas. Methods: A total of 6,000 ophthalmologic ultrasound images from 1,645 participants were used to train and verify the DL model. A total of 5,000 images were used for training and validating DL models, and an independent testing set of 1,000 images was used to test the performance of eight DL models trained using four different DL model architectures (fully connected neural network, LeNet5, AlexNet, and VGG16) and two preprocessing techniques (original, original image augmented). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to analyze their performance. Heatmaps were generated to visualize the process of the best DL model in the identification of RRD. Finally, five ophthalmologists were invited to diagnose RRD independently on the same test set of 1,000 images for performance comparison with the best DL model. Results: The best DL model for identifying RRD achieved an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.998 with a sensitivity and specificity of 99.2% and 99.8%, respectively. The best preprocessing method in each model architecture was the application of original image augmentation (average AUC = 0.982). The best model architecture in each preprocessing method was VGG16 (average AUC = 0.998). Conclusion: The best DL model determined in this study has higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity than the ophthalmologists’ diagnosis in identifying RRD based on ophthalmologic ultrasound images. This model may provide support for timely diagnosis in locations without access to ophthalmologic care.

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