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COVID-19 Infection Localization and Severity Grading from Chest X-ray Images

by   Anas M. Tahir, et al.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been the main agenda of the whole world, since it came into sight in December 2019 as it has significantly affected the world economy and healthcare system. Given the effects of COVID-19 on pulmonary tissues, chest radiographic imaging has become a necessity for screening and monitoring the disease. Numerous studies have proposed Deep Learning approaches for the automatic diagnosis of COVID-19. Although these methods achieved astonishing performance in detection, they have used limited chest X-ray (CXR) repositories for evaluation, usually with a few hundred COVID-19 CXR images only. Thus, such data scarcity prevents reliable evaluation with the potential of overfitting. In addition, most studies showed no or limited capability in infection localization and severity grading of COVID-19 pneumonia. In this study, we address this urgent need by proposing a systematic and unified approach for lung segmentation and COVID-19 localization with infection quantification from CXR images. To accomplish this, we have constructed the largest benchmark dataset with 33,920 CXR images, including 11,956 COVID-19 samples, where the annotation of ground-truth lung segmentation masks is performed on CXRs by a novel human-machine collaborative approach. An extensive set of experiments was performed using the state-of-the-art segmentation networks, U-Net, U-Net++, and Feature Pyramid Networks (FPN). The developed network, after an extensive iterative process, reached a superior performance for lung region segmentation with Intersection over Union (IoU) of 96.11 infections of various shapes and types were reliably localized with 83.05 and 88.21 COVID-19 detection performance with both sensitivity and specificity values above 99


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