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In Journal of visual communication and image representation

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has drastically overwhelmed most countries in the last two years, and image-based approaches using computerized tomography (CT) have been used to identify pulmonary infections. Recent methods based on deep learning either require time-consuming per-slice annotations (2D) or are highly data- and hardware-demanding (3D). This work proposes a novel omnidirectional 2.5D representation of volumetric chest CTs that allows exploring efficient 2D deep learning architectures while requiring volume-level annotations only. Our learning approach uses a siamese feature extraction backbone applied to each lung. It combines these features into a classification head that explores a novel combination of Squeeze-and-Excite strategies with Class Activation Maps. We experimented with public and in-house datasets and compared our results with state-of-the-art techniques. Our analyses show that our method provides better or comparable prediction quality and accurately distinguishes COVID-19 infections from other kinds of pneumonia and healthy lungs.

da Silveira Thiago L T, Pinto Paulo G L, Lermen Thiago S, Jung Cláudio R


2.5D representation, COVID-19 diagnosis, Ground-glass opacity, Omnidirectional imaging