Self-supervised Image-text Pre-training With Mixed Data In Chest X-rays

Xiaosong Wang, Ziyue Xu, Leo Tam, Dong Yang, Daguang Xu

Pre-trained models, e.g., from ImageNet, have proven to be effective in boosting the performance of many downstream applications. It is too demanding to acquire large-scale annotations to build such models for medical imaging. Meanwhile, there are numerous clinical data (in the form of images and text reports) stored in the hospital information systems. The paired image-text data from the same patient study could be utilized for the pre-training task in a weakly supervised manner. However, the integrity, accessibility, and amount of such raw data vary across different institutes, e.g., paired vs. unpaired (image-only or text-only). In this work, we introduce an image-text pre-training framework that can learn from these raw data with mixed data inputs, i.e., paired image-text data, a mixture of paired and unpaired data. The unpaired data can be sourced from one or multiple institutes (e.g., images from one institute coupled with texts from another). Specifically, we propose a transformer-based training framework for jointly learning the representation of both the image and text data. In addition to the existing masked language modeling, multi-scale masked vision modeling is introduced as a self-supervised training task for image patch regeneration. We not only demonstrate the feasibility of pre-training across mixed data inputs but also illustrate the benefits of adopting such pre-trained models in 3 chest X-ray applications, i.e., classification, retrieval, and image regeneration. Superior results are reported in comparison to prior art using MIMIC-CXR, NIH14-CXR, and OpenI-CXR datasets.

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