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In Computers in biology and medicine

The immense spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has left healthcare systems incapable to diagnose and test patients at the required rate. Given the effects of COVID-19 on pulmonary tissues, chest radiographic imaging has become a necessity for screening and monitoring the disease. Numerous studies have proposed Deep Learning approaches for the automatic diagnosis of COVID-19. Although these methods achieved outstanding performance in detection, they have used limited chest X-ray (CXR) repositories for evaluation, usually with a few hundred COVID-19 CXR images only. Thus, such data scarcity prevents reliable evaluation of Deep Learning models with the potential of overfitting. In addition, most studies showed no or limited capability in infection localization and severity grading of COVID-19 pneumonia. In this study, we address this urgent need by proposing a systematic and unified approach for lung segmentation and COVID-19 localization with infection quantification from CXR images. To accomplish this, we have constructed the largest benchmark dataset with 33,920 CXR images, including 11,956 COVID-19 samples, where the annotation of ground-truth lung segmentation masks is performed on CXRs by an elegant human-machine collaborative approach. An extensive set of experiments was performed using the state-of-the-art segmentation networks, U-Net, U-Net++, and Feature Pyramid Networks (FPN). The developed network, after an iterative process, reached a superior performance for lung region segmentation with Intersection over Union (IoU) of 96.11% and Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) of 97.99%. Furthermore, COVID-19 infections of various shapes and types were reliably localized with 83.05% IoU and 88.21% DSC. Finally, the proposed approach has achieved an outstanding COVID-19 detection performance with both sensitivity and specificity values above 99%.

Tahir Anas M, Chowdhury Muhammad E H, Khandakar Amith, Rahman Tawsifur, Qiblawey Yazan, Khurshid Uzair, Kiranyaz Serkan, Ibtehaz Nabil, Rahman M Sohel, Al-Maadeed Somaya, Mahmud Sakib, Ezeddin Maymouna, Hameed Khaled, Hamid Tahir


COVID-19, Chest X-ray, Convolutional Neural Networks, Deep Learning, Infection Segmentation, Lung Segmentation