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In Multimedia tools and applications

At the end of 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported pneumonia that started in Wuhan, China, as a global emergency problem. Researchers quickly advanced in research to try to understand this COVID-19 and sough solutions for the front-line professionals fighting this fatal disease. One of the tools to aid in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this disease is computed tomography (CT). CT images provide valuable information on how this new disease affects the lungs of patients. However, the analysis of these images is not trivial, especially when researchers are searching for quick solutions. Detecting and evaluating this disease can be tiring, time-consuming, and susceptible to errors. Thus, in this study, we aim to automatically segment infections caused by COVID19 and provide quantitative measures of these infections to specialists, thus serving as a support tool. We use a database of real clinical cases from Pedro Ernesto University Hospital of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The method involves five steps: lung segmentation, segmentation and extraction of pulmonary vessels, infection segmentation, infection classification, and infection quantification. For the lung segmentation and infection segmentation tasks, we propose modifications to the traditional U-Net, including batch normalization, leaky ReLU, dropout, and residual block techniques, and name it as Residual U-Net. The proposed method yields an average Dice value of 77.1% and an average specificity of 99.76%. For quantification of infectious findings, the proposed method achieves results like that of specialists, and no measure presented a value of ρ < 0.05 in the paired t-test. The results demonstrate the potential of the proposed method as a tool to help medical professionals combat COVID-19. fight the COVID-19.

Diniz João O B, Quintanilha Darlan B P, Santos Neto Antonino C, da Silva Giovanni L F, Ferreira Jonnison L, Netto Stelmo M B, Araújo José D L, Da Cruz Luana B, Silva Thamila F B, da S Martins Caio M, Ferreira Marcos M, Rego Venicius G, Boaro José M C, Cipriano Carolina L S, Silva Aristófanes C, de Paiva Anselmo C, Junior Geraldo Braz, de Almeida João D S, Nunes Rodolfo A, Mogami Roberto, Gattass M

2021-Jun-24

COVID-19, CT findings, Infection quantification, Infection segmentation, Lung segmentation, Medical imaging