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ArXiv Preprint

Diffusion-based models for text-to-image generation have gained immense popularity due to recent advancements in efficiency, accessibility, and quality. Although it is becoming increasingly feasible to perform inference with these systems using consumer-grade GPUs, training them from scratch still requires access to large datasets and significant computational resources. In the case of medical image generation, the availability of large, publicly accessible datasets that include text reports is limited due to legal and ethical concerns. While training a diffusion model on a private dataset may address this issue, it is not always feasible for institutions lacking the necessary computational resources. This work demonstrates that pre-trained Stable Diffusion models, originally trained on natural images, can be adapted to various medical imaging modalities by training text embeddings with textual inversion. In this study, we conducted experiments using medical datasets comprising only 100 samples from three medical modalities. Embeddings were trained in a matter of hours, while still retaining diagnostic relevance in image generation. Experiments were designed to achieve several objectives. Firstly, we fine-tuned the training and inference processes of textual inversion, revealing that larger embeddings and more examples are required. Secondly, we validated our approach by demonstrating a 2\% increase in the diagnostic accuracy (AUC) for detecting prostate cancer on MRI, which is a challenging multi-modal imaging modality, from 0.78 to 0.80. Thirdly, we performed simulations by interpolating between healthy and diseased states, combining multiple pathologies, and inpainting to show embedding flexibility and control of disease appearance. Finally, the embeddings trained in this study are small (less than 1 MB), which facilitates easy sharing of medical data with reduced privacy concerns.

Bram de Wilde, Anindo Saha, Richard P. G. ten Broek, Henkjan Huisman