Chest X-ray image phase features for improved diagnosis of COVID-19 using convolutional neural network

Xiao Qi, Lloyd G. Brown, David J. Foran, John Nosher, Ilker Hacihaliloglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose:: Recently, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has seriously endangered human health and life. In fighting against COVID-19, effective diagnosis of infected patient is critical for preventing the spread of diseases. Due to limited availability of test kits, the need for auxiliary diagnostic approach has increased. Recent research has shown radiography of COVID-19 patient, such as CT and X-ray, contains salient information about the COVID-19 virus and could be used as an alternative diagnosis method. Chest X-ray (CXR) due to its faster imaging time, wide availability, low cost, and portability gains much attention and becomes very promising. In order to reduce intra- and inter-observer variability, during radiological assessment, computer-aided diagnostic tools have been used in order to supplement medical decision making and subsequent management. Computational methods with high accuracy and robustness are required for rapid triaging of patients and aiding radiologist in the interpretation of the collected data. Method:: In this study, we design a novel multi-feature convolutional neural network (CNN) architecture for multi-class improved classification of COVID-19 from CXR images. CXR images are enhanced using a local phase-based image enhancement method. The enhanced images, together with the original CXR data, are used as an input to our proposed CNN architecture. Using ablation studies, we show the effectiveness of the enhanced images in improving the diagnostic accuracy. We provide quantitative evaluation on two datasets and qualitative results for visual inspection. Quantitative evaluation is performed on data consisting of 8851 normal (healthy), 6045 pneumonia, and 3323 COVID-19 CXR scans. Results:: In Dataset-1, our model achieves 95.57% average accuracy for a three classes classification, 99% precision, recall, and F1-scores for COVID-19 cases. For Dataset-2, we have obtained 94.44% average accuracy, and 95% precision, recall, and F1-scores for detection of COVID-19. Conclusions:: Our proposed multi-feature-guided CNN achieves improved results compared to single-feature CNN proving the importance of the local phase-based CXR image enhancement. Future work will involve further evaluation of the proposed method on a larger-size COVID-19 dataset as they become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Chest X-ray
  • Image enhancement
  • Image phase
  • Multi-feature CNN


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