Natural language processing of radiology reports for the detection of thromboembolic diseases and clinically relevant incidental findings
Pham Anne-Dominique, Neveol Aurelie, Lavergne Thomas, Yasunaga Daisuke, Clement Olivier, Meyer Guy, Morello Remy, Burgun Anita
Background: Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been shown effective to analyze the content of radiology reports and identify diagnosis or patient characteristics. We evaluate the combination of NLP and machine learning to detect thromboembolic disease diagnosis and incidental clinically relevant findings from angiography and venography reports written in French. We model thromboembolic diagnosis and incidental findings as a set of concepts, modalities and relations between concepts that can be used as features by a supervised machine learning algorithm. A corpus of 573 radiology reports was de-identified and manually annotated with the support of NLP tools by a physician for relevant concepts, modalities and relations. A machine learning classifier was trained on the dataset interpreted by a physician for diagnosis of deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and clinically relevant incidental findings. Decision models accounted for the imbalanced nature of the data and exploited the structure of the reports. Results: The best model achieved an F measure of 0.98 for pulmonary embolism identification, 1.00 for deep vein thrombosis, and 0.80 for incidental clinically relevant findings. The use of concepts, modalities and relations improved performances in all cases. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the benefits of developing an automated method to identify medical concepts, modality and relations from radiology reports in French. An end-to-end automatic system for annotation and classification which could be applied to other radiology reports databases would be valuable for epidemiological surveillance, performance monitoring, and accreditation in French hospitals.