Background COVID-19 and pneumonia of other etiology share similar CT characteristics, contributing to the challenges in differentiating them with high accuracy. Purpose To establish and evaluate an artificial intelligence (AI) system in differentiating COVID-19 and other pneumonia on chest CT and assess radiologist performance without and with AI assistance. Methods 521 patients with positive RT-PCR for COVID-19 and abnormal chest CT findings were retrospectively identified from ten hospitals from January 2020 to April 2020. 665 patients with non-COVID-19 pneumonia and definite evidence of pneumonia on chest CT were retrospectively selected from three hospitals between 2017 and 2019. To classify COVID-19 versus other pneumonia for each patient, abnormal CT slices were input into the EfficientNet B4 deep neural network architecture after lung segmentation, followed by two-layer fully-connected neural network to pool slices together. Our final cohort of 1,186 patients (132,583 CT slices) was divided into training, validation and test sets in a 7:2:1 and equal ratio. Independent testing was performed by evaluating model performance on separate hospitals. Studies were blindly reviewed by six radiologists without and then with AI assistance. Results Our final model achieved a test accuracy of 96% (95% CI: 90-98%), sensitivity 95% (95% CI: 83-100%) and specificity of 96% (95% CI: 88-99%) with Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) AUC of 0.95 and Precision-Recall (PR) AUC of 0.90. On independent testing, our model achieved an accuracy of 87% (95% CI: 82-90%), sensitivity of 89% (95% CI: 81-94%) and specificity of 86% (95% CI: 80-90%) with ROC AUC of 0.90 and PR AUC of 0.87. Assisted by the models’ probabilities, the radiologists achieved a higher average test accuracy (90% vs. 85%, Δ=5, p<0.001), sensitivity (88% vs. 79%, Δ=9, p<0.001) and specificity (91% vs. 88%, Δ=3, p=0.001). Conclusion AI assistance improved radiologists' performance in distinguishing COVID-19 from non-COVID-19 pneumonia on chest CT.

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