Distinguishing COVID-19 from Pneumonia

AI Augmentation of Radiologist Performance in Distinguishing COVID-19 from Pneumonia of Other Etiology on Chest CT


To establish and evaluate an artificial intelligence (AI) system in differentiating COVID-19 and other pneumonia on chest CT and assess radiologist performance without and with AI assistance.


521 patients with positive RT-PCR for COVID-19 and abnormal chest CT findings were retrospectively identified from ten hospitals from January 2020 to April 2020. 

665 patients with non-COVID-19 pneumonia and definite evidence of pneumonia on chest CT were retrospectively selected from three hospitals between 2017 and 2019. To classify COVID-19 versus other pneumonia for each patient, abnormal CT slices were input into the EfficientNet B4 deep neural network architecture after lung segmentation, followed by two-layer fully-connected neural network to pool slices together. Our final cohort of 1,186 patients (132,583 CT slices) was divided into training, validation and test sets in a 7:2:1 and equal ratio. Independent testing was performed by evaluating model performance on separate hospitals. Studies were blindly reviewed by six radiologists without and then with AI assistance.

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