Towards a practical use of text mining approaches in electrodiagnostic data

Roni Ramon-Gonen, Amir Dori, Shahar Shelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Healthcare professionals produce abounding textual data in their daily clinical practice. Text mining can yield valuable insights from unstructured data. Extracting insights from multiple information sources is a major challenge in computational medicine. In this study, our objective was to illustrate how combining text mining techniques with statistical methodologies can yield new insights and contribute to the development of neurological and neuromuscular-related health information. We demonstrate how to utilize and derive knowledge from medical text, identify patient groups with similar diagnostic attributes, and examine differences between groups using demographical data and past medical history (PMH). We conducted a retrospective study for all patients who underwent electrodiagnostic (EDX) evaluation in Israel's Sheba Medical Center between May 2016 and February 2022. The data extracted for each patient included demographic data, test results, and unstructured summary reports. We conducted several analyses, including topic modeling that targeted clinical impressions and topic analysis to reveal age- and sex-related differences. The use of suspected clinical condition text enriched the data and generated additional attributes used to find associations between patients' PMH and the emerging diagnosis topics. We identified 6096 abnormal EMG results, of which 58% (n = 3512) were males. Based on the latent Dirichlet allocation algorithm we identified 25 topics that represent different diagnoses. Sex-related differences emerged in 7 topics, 3 male-associated and 4 female-associated. Brachial plexopathy, myasthenia gravis, and NMJ Disorders showed statistically significant age and sex differences. We extracted keywords related to past medical history (n = 37) and tested them for association with the different topics. Several topics revealed a close association with past medical history, for example, length-dependent symmetric axonal polyneuropathy with diabetes mellitus (DM), length-dependent sensory polyneuropathy with chemotherapy treatments and DM, brachial plexopathy with motor vehicle accidents, myasthenia gravis and NMJ disorders with botulin treatments, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with swallowing difficulty. Summarizing visualizations were created to easily grasp the results and facilitate focusing on the main insights. In this study, we demonstrate the efficacy of utilizing advanced computational methods in a corpus of textual data to accelerate clinical research. Additionally, using these methods allows for generating clinical insights, which may aid in the development of a decision-making process in real-life clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19483
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 9 Nov 2023

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