ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0198.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Infected lung segmentation; Quantification of lung disease severity; Comparison be-tween manual and automated image segmentation; Deep Neural Network; COVID-19 detections; COVID-19 severity assessment
Online: 13 February 2023 (06:33:31 CET)
Assessment of the percentage of disease infected lung volume using computed tomography (CT) images can play an important role to detect lung diseases and predict disease severity. However, manual segmentation of disease infected regions from many CT image slices is tedious and not feasible in clinical practice. To help solve this clinical challenge, this study aims to investigate a new strategy to automatically segment disease infected regions and predict disease severity. We employed a public dataset acquired from 20 COVID-19 patients, which includes manually annotated lung and infections masks, to train a new ensembled deep learning (DL) model that combines the five customized residual attention UNet models to segment disease infected regions followed by a Feature Pyramid Network (FPN) model to classify severity stage of COVID-19 infection. To test potentially clinical utility of new model, we first gathered and processed another set of CT images acquired from 80 Covid-19 patients. Next, we asked two chest radiologists to read CT images of each patient and report the estimated percentage of infected lung volume and disease severity level. Additionally, we asked radiologists to rate acceptance of DL model-generated segmentation results using a 5-scale rating method. Data analysis results show that agreement between disease severity classification is >90% in 45 testing cases. Furthermore, >73% of cases received the high rating score from two radiologists (scored more than 4). This study demonstrates feasibility of developing a new DL-model to efficiently provide quantitative assessment of disease severity based on the automated segmentation of the disease infected regions to support improving efficacy of radiologists in disease diagnosis.