CheXpedition: Investigating Generalization Challenges for Translation of Chest X-Ray Algorithms to the Clinical Setting

Pranav Rajpurkar, Anirudh Joshi, Phil Chen, Anuj Pareek, Amir Kiani, Matthew Lungren, Andrew Ng, Jeremy Irvin

Abstract: Although there have been several recent advances in the application of deep learning algorithms to chest x-ray interpretation, we identify three major challenges for the translation of chest x-ray algorithms to the clinical setting. We examine the performance of the top 10 performing models on the CheXpert challenge leaderboard on three tasks: (1) TB detection, (2) pathology detection on photos of chest x-rays, and (3) pathology detection on data from an external institution. First, we find that the top 10 chest x-ray models on the CheXpert competition achieve an average AUC of 0.851 on the task of detecting TB on two public TB datasets without fine-tuning or including the TB labels in training data. Second, we find that the average performance of the models on photos of x-rays (AUC = 0.916) is similar to their performance on the original chest x-ray images (AUC = 0.924). Third, we find that the models tested on an external dataset either perform comparably to or exceed the average performance of radiologists. We believe that our investigation will inform rapid translation of deep learning algorithms to safe and effective clinical decision support tools that can be validated prospectively with large impact studies and clinical trials.