Differentiating pneumonia with and without COVID-19 using chest CT images: from qualitative to quantitative.J Xray Sci Technol. 2020; 28(4):583-589.JX
Pneumonia caused by COVID-19 shares overlapping imaging manifestations with other types of pneumonia. How to objectively and quantitatively differentiate pneumonia patients with and without COVID-19 virus remains clinical challenge.
To formulate standardized scoring criteria and an objective quantization standard to guide decision making in detection and diagnosis of COVID-19 virus induced pneumonia in clinical practice.
A retrospective dataset includes computed tomography (CT) images acquired from 43 pneumonia patients with COVID-19 virus detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and 49 pneumonia patients without COVID-19 virus. All patients were treated during the same time period in two hospitals. Key indicators of differential diagnosis were identified in relevant literature and the scores were quantified namely, patients with more than 8 points were identified as high risk, those with 6-8 points as moderate risk, and those with fewer than 6 points as low risk for COVID-19 virus. In the study, 3 radiologists determined the scores for all patients. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were subsequently calculated.
A total of 61 patients were determined as high risk, among which 42 were COVID-19 positive by RT-PCR tests. Next, 9 were identified as moderate risk, one of whom was COVID-19 positive. Last, 22 were classified into the low-risk group, all of them are COVID-19 negative. Based on these results, the sensitivity of detection COVID-19 positive cases between the high-risk group and the non-high-risk group was 0.98 with 95% confidence interval [0.88, 1.00], and the specificity was 0.61 [0.46, 0.75]. The detection sensitivity between the moderate-/high-risk group and the low-risk group was 1.00 [0.92, 1.00], and the specificity was 0.45 [0.31, 0.60].
The proposed quantitative scoring criteria showed high sensitivity and moderate specificity in detecting COVID-19 using CT images, which indicates that these criteria may be beneficial for screening in real-world practice and helpful for long-term disease control.