Application of deep learning-based diagnostic systems in screening asymptomatic COVID-19 patients among oversea returnees
Keywords:Deep learning, diagnostic systems, performance evaluation, COVID-19, asymptomatic cases
Introduction: Our study aimed to investigate the performance of deep learning (DL)-based diagnostic systems in alerting against COVID-19, especially among asymptomatic individuals coming from overseas, and to analyze the features of identified asymptomatic patients in detail.
Methodology: DL diagnostic systems were deployed to assist in the screening of COVID-19, including the pneumonia system and pulmonary nodules system. 1,917 overseas returnees who underwent CT examination and rRT-PCR tests were enrolled. DL pneumonia system promptly alerted clinicians to suspected COVID-19 after CT examinations while the performance was evaluated with rRT-PCR results as the reference. The radiological features of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were described according to the Nomenclature of the Fleischner Society.
Results: Fifty-three cases were confirmed as COVID-19 patients by rRT-PCR tests, including 5 asymptomatic cases. DL pneumonia system correctly alerted 50 cases as suspected COVID-19 with a sensitivity of 0.9434 and specificity of 0.9592 (within 2 minutes per case); while the pulmonary nodules system alerted 2 of the 3 missed asymptomatic cases. Additionally, five asymptomatic patients presented different characteristics such as elevated creatine kinase level and prolonged prothrombin time, as well as atypical radiological features.
Conclusions: DL diagnostic systems are promising complementary approaches for prompt screening of imported COVID-19 patients, even the imported asymptomatic cases. Unique clinical and radiological characteristics of asymptomatic cases might be of great value in screening as well.
Advances in knowledge: DL-based systems are practical, efficient, and reliable to assist radiologists in screening COVID-19 patients. Differential features of asymptomatic patients might be useful to clinicians in the frontline to differentiate asymptomatic cases.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).