In recent years, deep learning-based image analysis methods have been widely applied in computer-aided detection, diagnosis and prognosis, and has shown its value during the public health crisis of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Chest radiograph (CXR) has been playing a crucial role in COVID-19 patient triaging, diagnosing and monitoring, particularly in the United States. Considering the mixed and unspecific signals in CXR, an image retrieval model of CXR that provides both similar images and associated clinical information can be more clinically meaningful than a direct image diagnostic model. In this work we develop a novel CXR image retrieval model based on deep metric learning. Unlike traditional diagnostic models which aims at learning the direct mapping from images to labels, the proposed model aims at learning the optimized embedding space of images, where images with the same labels and similar contents are pulled together. It utilizes multi-similarity loss with hard-mining sampling strategy and attention mechanism to learn the optimized embedding space, and provides similar images to the query image. The model is trained and validated on an international multi-site COVID-19 dataset collected from 3 different sources. Experimental results of COVID-19 image retrieval and diagnosis tasks show that the proposed model can serve as a robust solution for CXR analysis and patient management for COVID-19. The model is also tested on its transferability on a different clinical decision support task, where the pre-trained model is applied to extract image features from a new dataset without any further training. These results demonstrate our deep metric learning based image retrieval model is highly efficient in the CXR retrieval, diagnosis and prognosis, and thus has great clinical value for the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients.
Purpose. Imaging plays an important role in assessing severity of COVID 19 pneumonia. However, semantic interpretation of chest radiography (CXR) findings does not include quantitative description of radiographic opacities. Most current AI assisted CXR image analysis framework do not quantify for regional variations of disease. To address these, we proposed a four region lung segmentation method to assist accurate quantification of COVID 19 pneumonia. Methods. A segmentation model to separate left and right lung is firstly applied, and then a carina and left hilum detection network is used, which are the clinical landmarks to separate the upper and lower lungs. To improve the segmentation performance of COVID 19 images, ensemble strategy incorporating five models is exploited. Using each region, we evaluated the clinical relevance of the proposed method with the Radiographic Assessment of the Quality of Lung Edema (RALE). Results. The proposed ensemble strategy showed dice score of 0.900, which is significantly higher than conventional methods (0.854 0.889). Mean intensities of segmented four regions indicate positive correlation to the extent and density scores of pulmonary opacities under the RALE framework. Conclusion. A deep learning based model in CXR can accurately segment and quantify regional distribution of pulmonary opacities in patients with COVID 19 pneumonia.