Automated Assessment of CO-RADS and Chest CT Severity Scores in Patients with Suspected COVID-19 Using Artificial Intelligence

N. Lessmann, C.I. Sanchez, L. Beenen, L.H. Boulogne, M. Brink, E. Calli, J.-P. Charbonnier, T. Dofferhoff, W.M. van Everdingen, P.K. Gerke, B. Geurts, H.A. Gietema, M. Groeneveld, L. van Harten, N. Hendrix, W. Hendrix, H.J. Huisman, I. Isgum, C. Jacobs, R. Kluge, M. Kok, J. Krdzalic, B. Lassen-Schmidt, K. van Leeuwen, J. Meakin, M. Overkamp, T. van Rees Vellinga, E.M. van Rikxoort, R. Samperna, C. Schaefer-Prokop, S. Schalekamp, E.T. Scholten, C. Sital, L. Stöger, J. Teuwen, K. Vaidhya Venkadesh, C. de Vente, M. Vermaat, W. Xie, B. de Wilde, M. Prokop and B. van Ginneken




The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe with alarming speed, morbidity and mortality. Immediate triage of suspected patients with chest infections caused by COVID-19 using chest CT may be of assistance when results from definitive viral testing are delayed. Purpose: To develop and validate an artificial intelligence (AI) system to score the likelihood and extent of pulmonary COVID-19 on chest CT scans using the CO-RADS and CT severity scoring systems. Materials and Methods: CORADS-AI consists of three deep learning algorithms that automatically segment the five pulmonary lobes, assign a CO-RADS score for the suspicion of COVID-19 and assign a CT severity score for the degree of parenchymal involvement per lobe. This study retrospectively included patients who received an unenhanced chest CT scan due to clinical suspicion of COVID-19 at two medical centers. The system was trained, validated, and tested with data from one of the centers. Data from the second center served as an external test set. Diagnostic performance and agreement with scores assigned by eight independent observers were measured using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, linearly-weighted kappa and classification accuracy. Results: 105 patients (62 +- 16 years, 61 men) and 262 patients (64 +- 16 years, 154 men) were evaluated in the internal and the external test set, respectively. The system discriminated between COVID-19 positive and negative patients with areas under the ROC curve of 0.95 (95% CI: 0.91-0.98) and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.84-0.93). Agreement with the eight human observers was moderate to substantial with a mean linearly-weighted kappa of 0.60 +- 0.01 for CO-RADS scores and 0.54 +- 0.01 for CT severity scores. Conclusion: CORADS-AI correctly identified COVID-19 positive patients with high diagnostic performance from chest CT exams, assigned standardized CO-RADS and CT severity scores in good agreement with eight independent observers and generalized well to external data.