This study aimed to assess if computed tomography (CT) radiomics can predict the severity and outcome of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.
This institutional ethical board-approved study included 92 patients (mean age, 59 ± 17 years; 57 men, 35 women) with positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay for COVID-19 infection who underwent noncontrast chest CT. Two radiologists evaluated all chest CT examinations and recorded opacity type, distribution, and extent of lobar involvement. Information on symptom duration before hospital admission, the period of hospital admission, presence of comorbid conditions, laboratory data, and outcomes (recovery or death) was obtained from the medical records. The entire lung volume was segmented on thin-section Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine images to derive whole-lung radiomics. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression with receiver operator characteristic area under the curve (AUC) as the output.
Computed tomography radiomics (AUC, 0.99) outperformed clinical variables (AUC, 0.89) for prediction of the extent of pulmonary opacities related to COVID-19 pneumonia. Type of pulmonary opacities could be predicted with CT radiomics (AUC, 0.77) but not with clinical or laboratory data (AUC, <0.56; P > 0.05). Prediction of patient outcome with radiomics (AUC, 0.85) improved to an AUC of 0.90 with the addition of clinical variables (patient age and duration of presenting symptoms before admission). Among clinical variables, the combination of peripheral capillary oxygen saturation on hospital admission, duration of symptoms, platelet counts, and patient age provided an AUC of 0.81 for predicting patient outcomes.
Radiomics from noncontrast CT reliably predict disease severity (AUC, 0.99) and outcome (AUC, 0.85) in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.