In International journal of imaging systems and technology
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affects the lives of billions of people worldwide and has destructive impacts on daily life routines, the global economy, and public health. Early diagnosis and quantification of COVID-19 infection have a vital role in improving treatment outcomes and interrupting transmission. For this purpose, advances in medical imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) scans offer great potential as an alternative to RT-PCR assay. CT scans enable a better understanding of infection morphology and tracking of lesion boundaries. Since manual analysis of CT can be extremely tedious and time-consuming, robust automated image segmentation is necessary for clinical diagnosis and decision support. This paper proposes an efficient segmentation framework based on the modified DeepLabV3+ using lower atrous rates in the Atrous Spatial Pyramid Pooling (ASPP) module. The lower atrous rates make receptive small to capture intricate morphological details. The encoder part of the framework utilizes a pre-trained residual network based on dilated convolutions for optimum resolution of feature maps. In order to evaluate the robustness of the modified model, a comprehensive comparison with other state-of-the-art segmentation methods was also performed. The experiments were carried out using a fivefold cross-validation technique on a publicly available database containing 100 single-slice CT scans from >40 patients with COVID-19. The modified DeepLabV3+ achieved good segmentation performance using around 43.9 M parameters. The lower atrous rates in the ASPP module improved segmentation performance. After fivefold cross-validation, the framework achieved an overall Dice similarity coefficient score of 0.881. The results demonstrate that several minor modifications to the DeepLabV3+ pipeline can provide robust solutions for improving segmentation performance and hardware implementation.
COVID‐19, DeepLabV3 +, ResNet, computed tomography, deep learning, segmentation