Large-scale screening of COVID-19 from community acquired pneumonia using infection size-aware classification

Phys Med Biol. 2021 Feb 19. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/abe838. Online ahead of print.


The worldwide spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a threatening risk for global public health. It is of great importance to rapidly and accurately screen patients with COVID-19 from community acquired pneumonia (CAP). In this study, a total of 1658 patients with COVID-19 and 1027 CAP patients underwent thin-section CT. All images were preprocessed to obtain the segmentations of infections and lung fields. A set of handcrafted location-specific features was proposed to best capture the COVID-19 distribution pattern, in comparison to conventional CT severity score (CT-SS) and Radiomics features. An infection Size Aware Random Forest method (iSARF) was used for classification. Experimental results show that the proposed method yielded best performance when using the handcrafted features with sensitivity of 91.6%, specificity of 86.8%, and accuracy of 89.8% over state-of-the-art classifiers. Additional test on 734 subjects with thick slice images demonstrates great generalizability. It is anticipated that our proposed framework could assist clinical decision making. Furthermore, the data of extracted features will be made available after the review process.

Keywords: COVID-19; Decision tree; Pneumonia; Random forest; Size aware.