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ArXiv Preprint

Natural language processing (NLP) shows promise as a means to automate the labelling of hospital-scale neuroradiology magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets for computer vision applications. To date, however, there has been no thorough investigation into the validity of this approach, including determining the accuracy of report labels compared to image labels as well as examining the performance of non-specialist labellers. In this work, we draw on the experience of a team of neuroradiologists who labelled over 5000 MRI neuroradiology reports as part of a project to build a dedicated deep learning-based neuroradiology report classifier. We show that, in our experience, assigning binary labels (i.e. normal vs abnormal) to images from reports alone is highly accurate. In contrast to the binary labels, however, the accuracy of more granular labelling is dependent on the category, and we highlight reasons for this discrepancy. We also show that downstream model performance is reduced when labelling of training reports is performed by a non-specialist. To allow other researchers to accelerate their research, we make our refined abnormality definitions and labelling rules available, as well as our easy-to-use radiology report labelling app which helps streamline this process.

David A. Wood, Sina Kafiabadi, Aisha Al Busaidi, Emily Guilhem, Jeremy Lynch, Matthew Townend, Antanas Montvila, Juveria Siddiqui, Naveen Gadapa, Matthew Benger, Gareth Barker, Sebastian Ourselin, James H. Cole, Thomas C. Booth