Quantification of pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 pneumonia: an upgrade of the LungQuant software for lung CT segmentation
Pisa Division, National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Pisa, Italy
2 Pavia Division, INFN, Pavia, Italy
3 Department of Physics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
4 Department of Mathematics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
5 Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
6 Department of Chemical, Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
7 Cagliari Division, INFN, Cagliari, Italy
Accepted: 15 March 2023
Published online: 11 April 2023
Computed tomography (CT) scans are used to evaluate the severity of lung involvement in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia. Here, we present an improved version of the LungQuant automatic segmentation software (LungQuantv2), which implements a cascade of three deep neural networks (DNNs) to segment the lungs and the lung lesions associated with COVID-19 pneumonia. The first network (BB-net) defines a bounding box enclosing the lungs, the second one (U-net) outputs the mask of the lungs, and the final one (U-net) generates the mask of the COVID-19 lesions. With respect to the previous version (LungQuantv1), three main improvements are introduced: the BB-net, a new term in the loss function in the U-net for lesion segmentation and a post-processing procedure to separate the right and left lungs. The three DNNs were optimized, trained and tested on publicly available CT scans. We evaluated the system segmentation capability on an independent test set consisting of ten fully annotated CT scans, the COVID-19-CT-Seg benchmark dataset. The test performances are reported by means of the volumetric dice similarity coefficient (vDSC) and the surface dice similarity coefficient (sDSC) between the reference and the segmented objects. LungQuantv2 achieves a vDSC (sDSC) equal to 0.96 ± 0.01 (0.97 ± 0.01) and 0.69 ± 0.08 (0.83 ± 0.07) for the lung and lesion segmentations, respectively. The output of the segmentation software was then used to assess the percentage of infected lungs, obtaining a Mean Absolute Error (MAE) equal to 2%.
© The Author(s) 2023
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