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A novel multi-stage residual feature fusion network for detection of COVID-19 in chest X-ray images.

Fang, Zhenyu; Ren, Jinchang; MacLellan, Calum; Li, Huihui; Zhao, Huimin; Hussain, Amir; Fortino, Giancarlo


Zhenyu Fang

Calum MacLellan

Huihui Li

Huimin Zhao

Amir Hussain

Giancarlo Fortino


To suppress the spread of COVID-19, accurate diagnosis at an early stage is crucial, chest screening with radiography imaging plays an important role in addition to the real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test. Due to the limited data, existing models suffer from incapable feature extraction and poor network convergence and optimization. Accordingly, a multi-stage residual network, MSRCovXNet, is proposed for effective detection of COVID-19 from chest x-ray (CXR) images. As a shallow yet effective classifier with the ResNet-18 as the feature extractor, MSRCovXNet is optimized by fusing two proposed feature enhancement modules (FEM), i.e. low-level and high-level feature maps (LLFMs and HLFMs), which contain respectively more local information and rich semantic information, respectively. For effective fusion of these two features, a single-stage FEM (MSFEM) and a multi-stage FEM (MSFEM) are proposed to enhance the semantic feature representation of the LLFMs and the local feature representation of the HLFMs, respectively. Without ensembling other deep learning models, our MSRCovXNet has a precision of 98.9% and a recall of 94% in detection of COVID-19, which outperforms several state-of-the-art models. When evaluated on the COVIDGR dataset, an average accuracy of 82.2% is achieved, leading other methods by at least 1.2%.


FANG, Z., REN, J., MACLELLAN, C., LI, H., ZHOA, H., HUSSAIN, A. and FORTINO, G. 2022. A novel multi-stage residual feature fusion network for detection of COVID-19 in chest X-ray images. IEEE transactions on molecular, biological and multi-scale communications [online], 8(1), pages 17-27. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 26, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 26, 2021
Publication Date Mar 31, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2021
Journal IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological and Multi-Scale Communications
Electronic ISSN 2332-7804
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 17-27
Keywords COVID-19; Chest X-ray imaging; MSRCovXNet; Feature enhancement module; ResNet-18; Data models; Feature extraction; Pulmonary diseases; Testing; Training; X-ray imaging
Public URL


FANG 2022 A novel multi-stage (3.3 Mb)

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