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Automatic segmentation of novel coronavirus pneumonia lesions in CT images utilizing deep-supervised ensemble learning network

10/25/2021
by   Yuanyuan Peng, et al.
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Background: The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been spread widely in the world, causing a huge threat to people's living environment. Objective: Under computed tomography (CT) imaging, the structure features of COVID-19 lesions are complicated and varied greatly in different cases. To accurately locate COVID-19 lesions and assist doctors to make the best diagnosis and treatment plan, a deep-supervised ensemble learning network is presented for COVID-19 lesion segmentation in CT images. Methods: Considering the fact that a large number of COVID-19 CT images and the corresponding lesion annotations are difficult to obtained, a transfer learning strategy is employed to make up for the shortcoming and alleviate the overfitting problem. Based on the reality that traditional single deep learning framework is difficult to extract COVID-19 lesion features effectively, which may cause some lesions to be undetected. To overcome the problem, a deep-supervised ensemble learning network is presented to combine with local and global features for COVID-19 lesion segmentation. Results: The performance of the proposed method was validated in experiments with a publicly available dataset. Compared with manual annotations, the proposed method acquired a high intersection over union (IoU) of 0.7279. Conclusion: A deep-supervised ensemble learning network was presented for coronavirus pneumonia lesion segmentation in CT images. The effectiveness of the proposed method was verified by visual inspection and quantitative evaluation. Experimental results shown that the proposed mehtod has a perfect performance in COVID-19 lesion segmentation.

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