Our paper aims to automate the generation of medical reports from chest X-ray image inputs, a critical yet time-consuming task for radiologists. Existing medical report generation efforts emphasize producing human-readable reports, yet the generated text may not be well aligned to the clinical facts. Our generated medical reports, on the other hand, are fluent and, more importantly, clinically accurate. This is achieved by our fully differentiable and end-to-end paradigm that contains three complementary modules: taking the chest X-ray images and clinical history document of patients as inputs, our classification module produces an internal checklist of disease-related topics, referred to as enriched disease embedding; the embedding representation is then passed to our transformer-based generator, to produce the medical report; meanwhile, our generator also creates a weighted embedding representation, which is fed to our interpreter to ensure consistency with respect to disease-related topics. Empirical evaluations demonstrate very promising results achieved by our approach on commonly-used metrics concerning language fluency and clinical accuracy. Moreover, noticeable performance gains are consistently observed when additional input information is available, such as the clinical document and extra scans from different views.
Lymph node status plays a pivotal role in the treatment of cancer. The extraction of lymph nodes from radiology text reports enables large-scale training of lymph node detection on MRI. In this work, we first propose an ontology of 41 types of abdominal lymph nodes with a hierarchical relationship. We then introduce an end-to-end approach based on the combination of rules and transformer-based methods to detect these abdominal lymph node mentions and classify their types from the MRI radiology reports. We demonstrate the superior performance of a model fine-tuned on MRI reports using BlueBERT, called MriBERT. We find that MriBERT outperforms the rule-based labeler (0.957 vs 0.644 in micro weighted F1-score) as well as other BERT-based variations (0.913 - 0.928). We make the code and MriBERT publicly available at https://github.com/ncbi-nlp/bluebert, with the hope that this method can facilitate the development of medical report annotators to produce labels from scratch at scale.