Robust prediction of mortality of COVID-19 patients based on quantitative, operator-independent, lung CT densitometry.

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To train and validate a predictive model of mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients based on lung densitometry.Two-hundred-fifty-one patients with respiratory symptoms underwent CT few days after hospitalization. “Aerated” (AV), “consolidated” (CV) and “intermediate” (IV) lung sub-volumes were quantified by an operator-independent method based on individual HU maximum gradient recognition. AV, CV, IV, CV/AV, IV/AV, and HU of the first peak position were extracted. Relevant clinical parameters were prospectively collected. The population was composed by training (n = 166) and validation (n = 85) consecutive cohorts, and backward multi-variate logistic regression was applied on the training group to build a CT_model. Similarly, models including only clinical parameters (CLIN_model) and both CT/clinical parameters (COMB_model) were developed. Model’s performances were assessed by goodness-of-fit (H&L-test), calibration and discrimination. Model’s performances were tested in the validation group.Forty-three patients died (25/18 in training/validation). CT_model included AVmax (i.e. maximum AV between lungs), CV and CV/AE, while CLIN_model included random glycemia, C-reactive protein and biological drugs (protective). Goodness-of-fit and discrimination were similar (H&L:0.70 vs 0.80; AUC:0.80 vs 0.80). COMB_model including AVmax, CV, CV/AE, random glycemia, biological drugs and active cancer, outperformed both models (H&L:0.91; AUC:0.89, 95%CI:0.82-0.93). All models showed good calibration (R2:0.77-0.97). Despite several patient’s characteristics were different between training and validation cohorts, performances in the validation cohort confirmed good calibration (R2:0-70-0.81) and discrimination for CT_model/COMB_model (AUC:0.72/0.76), while CLIN_model performed worse (AUC:0.64).Few automatically extracted densitometry parameters with clear functional meaning predicted mortality of COVID-19 patients. Combined with clinical features, the resulting predictive model showed higher discrimination/calibration.

View the full article @ Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB)
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Authors: Martina Mori, Diego Palumbo, Rebecca De Lorenzo, Sara Broggi, Nicola Compagnone, Giorgia Guazzarotti, Pier Giorgio Esposito, Aldo Mazzilli, Stephanie Steidler, Giordano Pietro Vitali, Antonella Del Vecchio, Patrizia Rovere Querini, Francesco De Cobelli, Claudio Fiorino