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In Expert systems with applications

The recent disaster of COVID-19 has brought the whole world to the verge of devastation because of its highly transmissible nature. In this pandemic, radiographic imaging modalities, particularly, computed tomography (CT), have shown remarkable performance for the effective diagnosis of this virus. However, the diagnostic assessment of CT data is a human-dependent process that requires sufficient time by expert radiologists. Recent developments in artificial intelligence have substituted several personal diagnostic procedures with computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) methods that can make an effective diagnosis, even in real time. In response to COVID-19, various CAD methods have been developed in the literature, which can detect and localize infectious regions in chest CT images. However, most existing methods do not provide cross-data analysis, which is an essential measure for assessing the generality of a CAD method. A few studies have performed cross-data analysis in their methods. Nevertheless, these methods show limited results in real-world scenarios without addressing generality issues. Therefore, in this study, we attempt to address generality issues and propose a deep learning-based CAD solution for the diagnosis of COVID-19 lesions from chest CT images. We propose a dual multiscale dilated fusion network (DMDF-Net) for the robust segmentation of small lesions in a given CT image. The proposed network mainly utilizes the strength of multiscale deep features fusion inside the encoder and decoder modules in a mutually beneficial manner to achieve superior segmentation performance. Additional pre- and post-processing steps are introduced in the proposed method to address the generality issues and further improve the diagnostic performance. Mainly, the concept of post-region of interest (ROI) fusion is introduced in the post-processing step, which reduces the number of false-positives and provides a way to accurately quantify the infected area of lung. Consequently, the proposed framework outperforms various state-of-the-art methods by accomplishing superior infection segmentation results with an average Dice similarity coefficient of 75.7%, Intersection over Union of 67.22%, Average Precision of 69.92%, Sensitivity of 72.78%, Specificity of 99.79%, Enhance-Alignment Measure of 91.11%, and Mean Absolute Error of 0.026.

Owais Muhammad, Baek Na Rae, Park Kang Ryoung


COVID-19 lesions segmentation, Computer-aided diagnosis, DMDF-Net, Infection quantification, Lung segmentation