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In Academic radiology

OBJECTIVES : To evaluate the potential of a fully automatic artificial intelligence (AI)-driven computed tomography (CT) software prototype to quantify severity of COVID-19 infection on chest CT in relationship with clinical and laboratory data.

METHODS : We retrospectively analyzed 50 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection who had received chest CT between March and July 2020. Pulmonary opacifications were automatically evaluated by an AI-driven software and correlated with clinical and laboratory parameters using Spearman-Rho and linear regression analysis. We divided the patients into sub cohorts with or without necessity of intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. Sub cohort differences were evaluated employing Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney-Test.

RESULTS : We included 50 CT examinations (mean age, 57.24 years), of whom 24 (48%) had an ICU stay. Extent of COVID-19 like opacities on chest CT showed correlations (all p < 0.001 if not otherwise stated) with occurrence of ICU stay (R = 0.74), length of ICU stay (R = 0.81), lethal outcome (R = 0.56) and length of hospital stay (R = 0.33, p < 0.05). The opacities extent was correlated with laboratory parameters: neutrophil count (NEU) (R = 0.60), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (R = 0.60), troponin (TNTHS) (R = 0.55) and c-reactive protein (CRP) (R = 0.51). Differences (p < 0.001) between ICU group and non-ICU group concerned longer length of hospital stay (24.04 vs. 10.92 days), higher opacity score (12.50 vs. 4.96) and severity of laboratory data changes such as c-reactive protein (11.64 vs. 5.07 mg/dl, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS : Automatically AI-driven quantification of opacities on chest CT correlates with laboratory and clinical data in patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection and may serve as non-invasive predictive marker for clinical course of COVID-19.

Mader Christoph, Bernatz Simon, Michalik Sabine, Koch Vitali, Martin Simon S, Mahmoudi Scherwin, Basten Lajos, Grünewald Leon D, Bucher Andreas, Albrecht Moritz H, Vogl Thomas J, Booz Christian


Artificial Intelligence, COVID-19, Chest-CT, Pneumonia, SARS-CoV-2 infection, Viral