A radiomics based approach using adrenal gland and periadrenal fat CT images to allocate COVID-19 health care resources fairly.
The value of radiomics features from the adrenal gland and periadrenal fat CT images for predicting disease progression in patients with COVID-19 has not been studied extensively. We assess the value of radiomics features from the adrenal gland and periadrenal fat CT images in predicting COVID-19 disease exacerbation. A total of 1,245 patients (685 moderate and 560 severe patients) were enrolled in a retrospective study. We proposed a 3D V-net to segment adrenal glands in onset CT images automatically, and periadrenal fat was obtained using inflation operation around the adrenal gland. Next, we built a clinical model (CM), three radiomics models (adrenal gland model [AM], periadrenal fat model [PM], and fusion of adrenal gland and periadrenal fat model [FM]), and radiomics nomogram (RN) after radiomics features extracted. The auto-segmentation framework yielded a dice value 0.79 in the training set. CM, AM, PM, FM, and RN obtained AUCs of 0.717, 0.716, 0.736, 0.760, and 0.833 in the validation set. FM and RN had better predictive efficacy than CM (P < 0.0001) in the training set. RN showed that there was no significant difference in the validation set (mean absolute error [MAE] = 0.04) and test set (MAE = 0.075) between predictive and actual results. Decision curve analysis showed that if the threshold probability was between 0.4 and 0.8 in the validation set or between 0.3 and 0.7 in the test set, it could gain more net benefits using RN than FM and CM. Radiomics features extracted from the adrenal gland and periadrenal fat CT images are related to disease exacerbation in patients with COVID-19.