COVLIAS 1.0: Lung segmentation in COVID-19 computed tomography scans using hybrid deep learning artificial intelligence models

Jasjit S. Suri, Sushant Agarwal, Rajesh Pathak, Vedmanvitha Ketireddy, Marta Columbu, Luca Saba, Suneet K. Gupta, Gavino Faa, Inder M. Singh, Monika Turk, Paramjit S. Chadha, Amer M. Johri, Narendra N. Khanna, Klaudija Viskovic, Sophie Mavrogeni, John R. Laird, Gyan Pareek, Martin Miner, David W. Sobel, Antonella BalestrieriPetros P. Sfikakis, George Tsoulfas, Athanasios Protogerou, Durga Prasanna Misra, Vikas Agarwal, George D. Kitas, Jagjit S. Teji, Mustafa Al-Maini, Surinder K. Dhanjil, Andrew Nicolaides, Aditya Sharma, Vijay Rathore, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad, Pudukode R. Krishnan, Nagy Frence, Zoltan Ruzsa, Archna Gupta, Subbaram Naidu, Mannudeep Kalra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 lung segmentation using Computed Tomography (CT) scans is important for the diagnosis of lung severity. The process of automated lung segmentation is challenging due to (a) CT radiation dosage and (b) ground-glass opacities caused by COVID-19. The lung segmentation methodologies proposed in 2020 were semi-or automated but not reliable, accurate, and user-friendly. The proposed study presents a COVID Lung Image Analysis System (COVLIAS 1.0, AtheroPoint™, Roseville, CA, USA) consisting of hybrid deep learning (HDL) models for lung segmentation. Methodology: The COVLIAS 1.0 consists of three methods based on solo deep learning (SDL) or hybrid deep learning (HDL). SegNet is proposed in the SDL category while VGG-SegNet and ResNet-SegNet are designed under the HDL paradigm. The three proposed AI approaches were benchmarked against the National Institute of Health (NIH)-based conventional segmentation model using fuzzy-connectedness. A cross-validation protocol with a 40:60 ratio between training and testing was designed, with 10% validation data. The ground truth (GT) was manually traced by a radiologist trained personnel. For performance evaluation, nine different criteria were selected to perform the evaluation of SDL or HDL lung segmentation regions and lungs long axis against GT. Results: Using the database of 5000 chest CT images (from 72 patients), COVLIAS 1.0 yielded AUC of ~0.96, ~0.97, ~0.98, and ~0.96 (p-value < 0.001), respectively within 5% range of GT area, for SegNet, VGG-SegNet, ResNet-SegNet, and NIH. The mean Figure of Merit using four models (left and right lung) was above 94%. On benchmarking against the National Institute of Health (NIH) segmentation method, the proposed model demonstrated a 58% and 44% improvement in ResNet-SegNet, 52% and 36% improvement in VGG-SegNet for lung area, and lung long axis, respectively. The PE statistics performance was in the following order: ResNet-SegNet > VGG-SegNet > NIH > SegNet. The HDL runs in <1 s on test data per image. Conclusions: The COVLIAS 1.0 system can be applied in real-time for radiology-based clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1405
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • COVID-19
  • Computed tomography
  • Hybrid deep learning
  • Lungs
  • Segmentation


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