Word Graph Guided Summarization for Radiology Findings

Radiology reports play a critical role in communicating medical findings to physicians. In each report, the impression section summarizes essential radiology findings. In clinical practice, writing impression is highly demanded yet time-consuming and prone to errors for radiologists. Therefore, automatic impression generation has emerged as an attractive research direction to facilitate such clinical practice. Existing studies mainly focused on introducing salient word information to the general text summarization framework to guide the selection of the key content in radiology findings. However, for this task, a model needs not only capture the important words in findings but also accurately describe their relations so as to generate high-quality impressions. In this paper, we propose a novel method for automatic impression generation, where a word graph is constructed from the findings to record the critical words and their relations, then a Word Graph guided Summarization model (WGSum) is designed to generate impressions with the help of the word graph. Experimental results on two datasets, OpenI and MIMIC-CXR, confirm the validity and effectiveness of our proposed approach, where the state-of-the-art results are achieved on both datasets. Further experiments are also conducted to analyze the impact of different graph designs to the performance of our method.

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