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In Quantitative imaging in medicine and surgery

Background : This study set out to develop a computed tomography (CT)-based wavelet transforming radiomics approach for grading pulmonary lesions caused by COVID-19 and to validate it using real-world data.

Methods : This retrospective study analyzed 111 patients with 187 pulmonary lesions from 16 hospitals; all patients had confirmed COVID-19 and underwent non-contrast chest CT. Data were divided into a training cohort (72 patients with 127 lesions from nine hospitals) and an independent test cohort (39 patients with 60 lesions from seven hospitals) according to the hospital in which the CT was performed. In all, 73 texture features were extracted from manually delineated lesion volumes, and 23 three-dimensional (3D) wavelets with eight decomposition modes were implemented to compare and validate the value of wavelet transformation for grade assessment. Finally, the optimal machine learning pipeline, valuable radiomic features, and final radiomic models were determined. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), calibration curve, and decision curve were used to determine the diagnostic performance and clinical utility of the models.

Results : Of the 187 lesions, 108 (57.75%) were diagnosed as mild lesions and 79 (42.25%) as moderate/severe lesions. All selected radiomic features showed significant correlations with the grade of COVID-19 pulmonary lesions (P<0.05). Biorthogonal 1.1 (bior1.1) LLL was determined as the optimal wavelet transform mode. The wavelet transforming radiomic model had an AUC of 0.910 in the test cohort, outperforming the original radiomic model (AUC =0.880; P<0.05). Decision analysis showed the radiomic model could add a net benefit at any given threshold of probability.

Conclusions : Wavelet transformation can enhance CT texture features. Wavelet transforming radiomics based on CT images can be used to effectively assess the grade of pulmonary lesions caused by COVID-19, which may facilitate individualized management of patients with this disease.

Jiang Zekun, Yin Jin, Han Peilun, Chen Nan, Kang Qingbo, Qiu Yue, Li Yiyue, Lao Qicheng, Sun Miao, Yang Dan, Huang Shan, Qiu Jiajun, Li Kang


COVID-19, computed tomography (CT), machine learning, quantitative image analysis, radiomics