Study protocol and design for the assessment of paediatric pneumonia from X-ray images using deep learning

Mark GF Sun, Senjuti Saha, Syed Ahmar Shah, Saturnino Luz, Harish Nair, Samir Saha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

ntroduction In low-income and middle-income countries, pneumonia remains the leading cause of illness and death in children<5 years. The recommended tool for diagnosing paediatric pneumonia is the interpretation of chest X-ray images, which is difficult to standardise and requires trained clinicians/radiologists. Current automated computational tools have primarily focused on assessing adult pneumonia and were trained on images evaluated by a single specialist. We aim to provide a computational tool using a deep-learning approach to diagnose paediatric pneumonia using X-ray images assessed by multiple specialists trained by the WHO expert X-ray image reading panel. Methods and analysis Approximately 10 000 paediatric chest X-ray images are currently being collected from an ongoing WHO-supported surveillance study in Bangladesh. Each image will be read by two trained clinicians/radiologists for the presence or absence of primary endpoint pneumonia (PEP) in each lung, as defined by the WHO. Images whose PEP labels are discordant in either lung will be reviewed by a third specialist and the final assignment will be made using a majority vote. Convolutional neural networks will be used for lung segmentation to align and scale the images to a reference, and for interpretation of the images for the presence of PEP. The model will be evaluated against an independently collected and labelled set of images from the WHO. The study outcome will be an automated method for the interpretation of chest radiographs for diagnosing paediatric pneumonia. Ethics and dissemination All study protocols were approved by the Ethical Review Committees of the Bangladesh Institute of Child Health, Bangladesh. The study sponsor deemed it unnecessary to attain ethical approval from the Academic and Clinical Central Office for Research and Development of University of Edinburgh, UK. The study uses existing X-ray images from an ongoing WHO-coordinated surveillance. All findings will be published in an open-access journal. All X-ray labels and statistical code will be made openly available. The model and images will be made available on request.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere044461
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021


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