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16 september 2021 06:08:09

Elaboration of a Radiomics Strategy for the Prediction of the Re-positive Cases in the Discharged Patients With COVID-19 (Frontiers in Medicine)

Objective: A considerable part of COVID-19 patients were found to be re-positive in the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test after discharge. Early prediction of re-positive COVID-19 cases is of critical importance in determining the isolation period and developing clinical protocols.Materials and Methods: Ninety-one patients discharged from Wanzhou Three Gorges Central Hospital, Chongqing, China, from February 10, 2020 to March 3, 2020 were administered nasopharyngeal swab SARS-CoV-2 tests within 12–14 days, and 50 eligible patients (32 male and 18 female) with completed data were enrolled. Average age was 48 ± 11.5 years. All patients underwent non-enhanced chest CT on admission. A total of 568 radiomics features were extracted from the CT images, and 17 clinical factors were collected based on the medical record. Student`s t-test and support vector machine–based recursive feature elimination (SVM-RFE) method were used to determine an optimal subset of features for the discriminative model development.Results: After Student`s t-test, 62 radiomics features showed significant inter-group differences (p < 0.05) between the re-positive and negative cases, and none of the clinical features showed significant differences. These significant features were further selected by SVM-RFE algorithm, and a more compact feature subset containing only two radiomics features was finally determined, achieving the best predictive performance with the accuracy and area under the curve of 72.6% and 0.773 for the identification of the re-positive case.Conclusion: The proposed radiomics method has preliminarily shown potential in identifying the re-positive cases among the recovered COVID-19 patients after discharge. More strategies are to be integrated into the current pipeline to improve its precision, and a larger database with multi-clinical enrollment is required to extensively verify its performance.

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