Multimodal Deep Learning for Integrating Chest Radiographs and Clinical Parameters: A Case for Transformers
Firas Khader, Gustav Müller-Franzes, Tianci Wang, Tianyu Han, Soroosh Tayebi Arasteh, Christoph Haarburger, Johannes Stegmaier, Keno Bressem, Christiane Kuhl, Sven Nebelung, Jakob Nikolas Kather, Daniel Truhn
Radiology . 2023 Oct;309(1):e230806. doi: 10.1148/radiol.230806.
Background Clinicians consider both imaging and nonimaging data when diagnosing diseases; however, current machine learning approaches primarily consider data from a single modality. Purpose To develop a neural network architecture capable of integrating multimodal patient data and compare its performance to models incorporating a single modality for diagnosing up to 25 pathologic conditions. Materials and Methods In this retrospective study, imaging and nonimaging patient data were extracted from the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) database and an internal database comprised of chest radiographs and clinical parameters inpatients in the intensive care unit (ICU) (January 2008 to December 2020). The MIMIC and internal data sets were each split into training (n = 33 893, n = 28 809), validation (n = 740, n = 7203), and test (n = 1909, n = 9004) sets. A novel transformer-based neural network architecture was trained to diagnose up to 25 conditions using nonimaging data alone, imaging data alone, or multimodal data. Diagnostic performance was assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis. Results The MIMIC and internal data sets included 36 542 patients (mean age, 63 years ± 17 [SD]; 20 567 male patients) and 45 016 patients (mean age, 66 years ± 16; 27 577 male patients), respectively. The multimodal model showed improved diagnostic performance for all pathologic conditions. For the MIMIC data set, the mean AUC was 0.77 (95% CI: 0.77, 0.78) when both chest radiographs and clinical parameters were used, compared with 0.70 (95% CI: 0.69, 0.71; P < .001) for only chest radiographs and 0.72 (95% CI: 0.72, 0.73; P < .001) for only clinical parameters. These findings were confirmed on the internal data set. Conclusion A model trained on imaging and nonimaging data outperformed models trained on only one type of data for diagnosing multiple diseases in patients in an ICU setting.