Quantitative CT for detecting COVID?19 pneumonia in suspected cases

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 19;21(1):836. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06556-z.


BACKGROUND: Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently a worldwide pandemic and has a huge impact on public health and socio-economic development. The purpose of this study is to explore the diagnostic value of the quantitative computed tomography (CT) method by using different threshold segmentation techniques to distinguish between patients with or without COVID-19 pneumonia.

METHODS: A total of 47 patients with suspected COVID-19 were retrospectively analyzed, including nine patients with positive real-time fluorescence reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test (confirmed case group) and 38 patients with negative RT-PCR test (excluded case group). An improved 3D convolutional neural network (VB-Net) was used to automatically extract lung lesions. Eight different threshold segmentation methods were used to define the ground glass opacity (GGO) and consolidation. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to compare the performance of various parameters with different thresholds for diagnosing COVID-19 pneumonia.

RESULTS: The volume of GGO (VOGGO) and GGO percentage in the whole lung (GGOPITWL) were the most effective values for diagnosing COVID-19 at a threshold of - 300 HU, with areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.769 and 0.769, sensitivity of 66.67 and 66.67%, specificity of 94.74 and 86.84%. Compared with VOGGO or GGOPITWL at a threshold of - 300 Hounsfield units (HU), the consolidation percentage in the whole lung (CPITWL) with thresholds at - 400 HU, - 350 HU, and - 250 HU were statistically different. There were statistical differences in the infection volume and percentage of the whole lung, right lung, and lobes between the two groups. VOGGO, GGOPITWL, and volume of consolidation (VOC) were also statistically different at the threshold of - 300 HU.

CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative CT provides an image quantification method for the auxiliary diagnosis of COVID-19 and is expected to assist in confirming patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in suspected cases.

PMID:34412614 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-021-06556-z

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