Machine learning-based computer-aided simple triage (CAST) for COVID-19 pneumonia as compared with triage by board-certified chest radiologists

Yoshiharu Ohno, Takatoshi Aoki, Masahiro Endo, Hisanobu Koyama, Hiroshi Moriya, Fumito Okada, Takanori Higashino, Haruka Sato, Noriko Oyama-Manabe, Takafumi Haraguchi, Kazumasa Arakita, Kota Aoyagi, Yoshihiro Ikeda, Shigeo Kaminaga, Akira Taniguchi, Naoki Sugihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Several reporting systems have been proposed for providing standardized language and diagnostic categories aiming for expressing the likelihood that lung abnormalities on CT images represent COVID-19. We developed a machine learning (ML)-based CT texture analysis software for simple triage based on the RSNA Expert Consensus Statement system. The purpose of this study was to conduct a multi-center and multi-reader study to determine the capability of ML-based computer-aided simple triage (CAST) software based on RSNA expert consensus statements for diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods: For this multi-center study, 174 cases who had undergone CT and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 were retrospectively included. Their CT data were then assessed by CAST and consensus from three board-certified chest radiologists, after which all cases were classified as either positive or negative. Diagnostic performance was then compared by McNemar’s test. To determine radiological finding evaluation capability of CAST, three other board-certified chest radiologists assessed CAST results for radiological findings into five criteria. Finally, accuracies of all radiological evaluations were compared by McNemar’s test. Results: A comparison of diagnosis for COVID-19 pneumonia based on RT-PCR results for cases with COVID-19 pneumonia findings on CT showed no significant difference of diagnostic performance between ML-based CAST software and consensus evaluation (p > 0.05). Comparison of agreement on accuracy for all radiological finding evaluations showed that emphysema evaluation accuracy for investigator A (AC = 91.7%) was significantly lower than that for investigators B (100%, p = 0.0009) and C (100%, p = 0.0009). Conclusion: This multi-center study shows COVID-19 pneumonia triage by CAST can be considered at least as valid as that by chest expert radiologists and may be capable for playing as useful a complementary role for management of suspected COVID-19 pneumonia patients as well as the RT-PCR test in routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-290
Number of pages15
JournalJapanese journal of radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 03-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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