Natural Language Processing in Radiology: Update on Clinical Applications
Pilar López-Úbeda, Teodoro Martín-Noguerol, Krishna Juluru, Antonio Luna
J Am Coll Radiol . 2022 Nov;19(11):1271-1285. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2022.06.016. Epub 2022 Aug 25.
Radiological reports are a valuable source of information used to guide clinical care and support research. Organizing and managing this content, however, frequently requires several manual curations because of the more common unstructured nature of the reports. However, manual review of these reports for clinical knowledge extraction is costly and time-consuming. Natural language processing (NLP) is a set of methods developed to extract structured meaning from a body of text and can be used to optimize the workflow of health care professionals. Specifically, NLP methods can help radiologists as decision support systems and improve the management of patients' medical data. In this study, we highlight the opportunities offered by NLP in the field of radiology. A comprehensive review of the most commonly used NLP methods to extract information from radiological reports and the development of tools to improve radiological workflow using this information is presented. Finally, we review the important limitations of these tools and discuss the relevant observations and trends in the application of NLP to radiology that could benefit the field in the future.