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In Signal, image and video processing

Since December 2019, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has claimed the lives of more than 3.75 million people worldwide. Consequently, methods for accurate COVID-19 diagnosis and classification are necessary to facilitate rapid patient care and terminate viral spread. Lung infection segmentations are useful to identify unique infection patterns that may support rapid diagnosis, severity assessment, and patient prognosis prediction, but manual segmentations are time-consuming and depend on radiologic expertise. Deep learning-based methods have been explored to reduce the burdens of segmentation; however, their accuracies are limited due to the lack of large, publicly available annotated datasets that are required to establish ground truths. For these reasons, we propose a semi-automatic, threshold-based segmentation method to generate region of interest (ROI) segmentations of infection visible on lung computed tomography (CT) scans. Infection masks are then used to calculate the percentage of lung abnormality (PLA) to determine COVID-19 severity and to analyze the disease progression in follow-up CTs. Compared with other COVID-19 ROI segmentation methods, on average, the proposed method achieved improved precision ( 47.49 % ) and specificity ( 98.40 % ) scores. Furthermore, the proposed method generated PLAs with a difference of ± 3.89 % from the ground-truth PLAs. The improved ROI segmentation results suggest that the proposed method has potential to assist radiologists in assessing infection severity and analyzing disease progression in follow-up CTs.

Khan Azrin, Garner Rachael, Rocca Marianna La, Salehi Sana, Duncan Dominique