Cureus. 2020 Jul 28;12(7):e9448. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9448.
Introduction The need to streamline patient management for coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has become more pressing than ever. Chest X-rays (CXRs) provide a non-invasive (potentially bedside) tool to monitor the progression of the disease. In this study, we present a severity score prediction model for COVID-19 pneumonia for frontal chest X-ray images. Such a tool can gauge the severity of COVID-19 lung infections (and pneumonia in general) that can be used for escalation or de-escalation of care as well as monitoring treatment efficacy, especially in the ICU. Methods Images from a public COVID-19 database were scored retrospectively by three blinded experts in terms of the extent of lung involvement as well as the degree of opacity. A neural network model that was pre-trained on large (non-COVID-19) chest X-ray datasets is used to construct features for COVID-19 images which are predictive for our task. Results This study finds that training a regression model on a subset of the outputs from this pre-trained chest X-ray model predicts our geographic extent score (range 0-8) with 1.14 mean absolute error (MAE) and our lung opacity score (range 0-6) with 0.78 MAE. Conclusions These results indicate that our model's ability to gauge the severity of COVID-19 lung infections could be used for escalation or de-escalation of care as well as monitoring treatment efficacy, especially in the ICU. To enable follow up work, we make our code, labels, and data available online.
PMID:32864270 | PMC:PMC7451075 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.9448