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In Annals of palliative medicine ; h5-index 20.0

BACKGROUND : This study aimed to build a radiomics model with deep learning (DL) and human auditing and examine its diagnostic value in differentiating between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).

METHODS : Forty-three COVID-19 patients, whose diagnoses had been confirmed with reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) tests, and 60 CAP patients, whose diagnoses had been confirmed with sputum cultures, were enrolled in this retrospective study. The candidate regions of interest (ROIs) on the computed tomography (CT) images of the 103 patients were determined using a DL-based segmentation model powered by transfer learning. These ROIs were manually audited and corrected by 3 radiologists (with an average of 12 years of experience; range 6-17 years) to check the segmentation acceptance for the radiomics analysis. ROI-derived radiomics features were subsequently extracted to build the classification model and processed using 4 different algorithms (L1 regularization, Lasso, Ridge, and Z test) and 4 classifiers, including the logistic regression (LR), multi-layer perceptron (MLP), support vector machine (SVM), and extreme Gradient Boosting (XGboost). A receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis was conducted to evaluate the performance of the model.

RESULTS : Quantitative CT measurements derived from human-audited segmentation results showed that COVID-19 patients had significantly decreased numbers of infected lobes compared to patients in the CAP group {median [interquartile range (IQR)]: 4 (3, 4) and 4 (4, 5); P=0.031}. The infected percentage (%) of the whole lung was significantly more elevated in the CAP group [6.40 (2.77, 11.11)] than the COVID-19 group [1.83 (0.65, 4.42); P<0.001], and the same trend applied to each lobe, except for the superior lobe of the right lung [1.81 (0.09, 5.28) for COVID-19 vs. 1.32 (0.14, 7.02) for CAP; P=0.649]. Additionally, the highest proportion of infected lesions were observed in the CT value range of (-470, -370) Hounsfield units (HU) in the COVID-19 group. Conversely, the CAP group had a value range of (30, 60) HU. Radiomic model using corrected ROIs exhibited the highest area under ROC (AUC) of 0.990 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.962 -1.000] using Lasso for feature selection and MLP for classification.

CONCLUSIONS : The proposed radiomics model based on human-audited segmentation made accurate differential diagnoses of COVID-19 and CAP. The quantification of CT measurements derived from DL could potentially be used as effective biomarkers in current clinical practice.

Xin Xiaoyan, Mo Ran, Shao Mingran, Yang Wen, Li Daixin, Zhang Yanqiu, Wang Han, Liu Baiyun, Tian Song, Chen Weidao, Wu Jiangfen, Zhu Bin, Zhou Kefeng, Du Chao, Zhang Bing

2021-Jul-09

classification, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), deep learning (DL), human audit, radiomics