A Natural Language Processing Pipeline of Chinese Free-text Radiology Reports for Liver Cancer Diagnosis

10 Apr 2020  ·  Honglei Liu, Yan Xu, Zhiqiang Zhang, Ni Wang, Yanqun Huang, Yanjun Hu, Zhenghan Yang, Rui Jiang, Hui Chen ·

Despite the rapid development of natural language processing (NLP) implementation in electronic medical records (EMRs), Chinese EMRs processing remains challenging due to the limited corpus and specific grammatical characteristics, especially for radiology reports. In this study, we designed an NLP pipeline for the direct extraction of clinically relevant features from Chinese radiology reports, which is the first key step in computer-aided radiologic diagnosis... The pipeline was comprised of named entity recognition, synonyms normalization, and relationship extraction to finally derive the radiological features composed of one or more terms. In named entity recognition, we incorporated lexicon into deep learning model bidirectional long short-term memory-conditional random field (BiLSTM-CRF), and the model finally achieved an F1 score of 93.00%. With the extracted radiological features, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator and machine learning methods (support vector machine, random forest, decision tree, and logistic regression) were used to build the classifiers for liver cancer prediction. For liver cancer diagnosis, random forest had the highest predictive performance in liver cancer diagnosis (F1 score 86.97%, precision 87.71%, and recall 86.25%). This work was a comprehensive NLP study focusing on Chinese radiology reports and the application of NLP in cancer risk prediction. The proposed NLP pipeline for the radiological feature extraction could be easily implemented in other kinds of Chinese clinical texts and other disease predictive tasks. read more

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