Automatic deep learning-based consolidation/collapse classification in lung ultrasound images for COVID-19 induced pneumonia

Nabeel Durrani, Damjan Vukovic, Jeroen van der Burgt, Maria Antico, Ruud J.G. van Sloun, David Canty, Marian Steffens, Andrew Wang, Alistair Royse, Colin Royse, Kavi Haji, Jason Dowling, Girija Chetty, Davide Fontanarosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Our automated deep learning-based approach identifies consolidation/collapse in LUS images to aid in the identification of late stages of COVID-19 induced pneumonia, where consolidation/collapse is one of the possible associated pathologies. A common challenge in training such models is that annotating each frame of an ultrasound video requires high labelling effort. This effort in practice becomes prohibitive for large ultrasound datasets. To understand the impact of various degrees of labelling precision, we compare labelling strategies to train fully supervised models (frame-based method, higher labelling effort) and inaccurately supervised models (video-based methods, lower labelling effort), both of which yield binary predictions for LUS videos on a frame-by-frame level. We moreover introduce a novel sampled quaternary method which randomly samples only 10% of the LUS video frames and subsequently assigns (ordinal) categorical labels to all frames in the video based on the fraction of positively annotated samples. This method outperformed the inaccurately supervised video-based method and more surprisingly, the supervised frame-based approach with respect to metrics such as precision-recall area under curve (PR-AUC) and F1 score, despite being a form of inaccurate learning. We argue that our video-based method is more robust with respect to label noise and mitigates overfitting in a manner similar to label smoothing. The algorithm was trained using a ten-fold cross validation, which resulted in a PR-AUC score of 73% and an accuracy of 89%. While the efficacy of our classifier using the sampled quaternary method significantly lowers the labelling effort, it must be verified on a larger consolidation/collapse dataset, our proposed classifier using the sampled quaternary video-based method is clinically comparable with trained experts’ performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17581
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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