Bilateral adaptive graph convolutional network on CT based Covid-19 diagnosis with uncertainty-aware consensus-assisted multiple instance learning

Med Image Anal. 2022 Dec 15;84:102722. doi: 10.1016/j.media.2022.102722. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused a worldwide pandemic, putting millions of people’s health and lives in jeopardy. Detecting infected patients early on chest computed tomography (CT) is critical in combating COVID-19. Harnessing uncertainty-aware consensus-assisted multiple instance learning (UC-MIL), we propose to diagnose COVID-19 using a new bilateral adaptive graph-based (BA-GCN) model that can use both 2D and 3D discriminative information in 3D CT volumes with arbitrary number of slices. Given the importance of lung segmentation for this task, we have created the largest manual annotation dataset so far with 7,768 slices from COVID-19 patients, and have used it to train a 2D segmentation model to segment the lungs from individual slices and mask the lungs as the regions of interest for the subsequent analyses. We then used the UC-MIL model to estimate the uncertainty of each prediction and the consensus between multiple predictions on each CT slice to automatically select a fixed number of CT slices with reliable predictions for the subsequent model reasoning. Finally, we adaptively constructed a BA-GCN with vertices from different granularity levels (2D and 3D) to aggregate multi-level features for the final diagnosis with the benefits of the graph convolution network’s superiority to tackle cross-granularity relationships. Experimental results on three largest COVID-19 CT datasets demonstrated that our model can produce reliable and accurate COVID-19 predictions using CT volumes with any number of slices, which outperforms existing approaches in terms of learning and generalisation ability. To promote reproducible research, we have made the datasets, including the manual annotations and cleaned CT dataset, as well as the implementation code, available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6361963.

PMID:36574737 | PMC:PMC9753459 | DOI:10.1016/j.media.2022.102722

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