Cross-Sectional Relatedness Between Sentences in Breast Radiology Reports: Development of an SVM Classifier and Evaluation Against Annotations of Five Breast Radiologists

Merlijn Sevenster, Yuechen Qian, Hiroyuki Abe, Johannes Buurman
2013 Journal of digital imaging  
Introduce the notion of cross-sectional relatedness as an informational dependence relation between sentences in the conclusion section of a breast radiology report and sentences in the findings section of the same report. Assess inter-rater agreement of breast radiologists. Develop and evaluate a support vector machine (SVM) classifier for automatically detecting cross-sectional relatedness. A standard reference is manually created from 444 breast radiology reports by the first author. A
more » ... of 37 reports is annotated by five breast radiologists. Inter-rater agreement is computed among their annotations and standard reference. Thirteen numerical features are developed to characterize pairs of sentences; the optimal feature set is sought through forward selection. Inter-rater agreement is F-measure 0.623. SVM classifier has F-measure of 0.699 in the 12-fold crossvalidation protocol against standard reference. Report length does not correlate with the classifier's performance (correlation coefficient=−0.073). SVM classifier has average F-measure of 0.505 against annotations by breast radiologists. Mediocre inter-rater agreement is possibly caused by: (1) definition is insufficiently actionable, (2) fine-grained nature of cross-sectional relatedness on sentence level, instead of, for instance, on paragraph level, and (3) higher-than-average complexity of 37-report sample. SVM classifier performs better against standard reference than against breast radiologists's annotations. This is supportive of (3). SVM's performance on standard reference is satisfactory. Since optimal feature set is not breast specific, results may transfer to non-breast anatomies. Applications include a smart report viewing environment and data mining.
doi:10.1007/s10278-013-9612-9 pmid:23817629 pmcid:PMC3782592 fatcat:67zcyya3onhjzizmjrtenyyuuq