Searching for Pneumothorax in Half a Million Chest X-Ray Images

Antonio Sze-To, Hamid Tizhoosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Pneumothorax, a collapsed or dropped lung, is a fatal condition typically detected on a chest X-ray by an experienced radiologist. Due to shortage of such experts, automated detection systems based on deep neural networks have been developed. Nevertheless, applying such systems in practice remains a challenge. These systems, mostly compute a single probability as output, may not be enough for diagnosis. On the contrary, content-based medical image retrieval (CBIR) systems, such as image search, can assist clinicians for diagnostic purposes by enabling them to compare the case they are examining with previous (already diagnosed) cases. However, there is a lack of study on such attempt. In this study, we explored the use of image search to classify pneumothorax among chest X-ray images. All chest X-ray images were first tagged with deep pretrained features, which were obtained from existing deep learning models. Given a query chest X-ray image, the majority voting of the top K retrieved images was then used as a classifier, in which similar cases in the archive of past cases are provided besides the probability output. In our experiments, 551,383 chest X-ray images were obtained from three large recently released public datasets. Using 10-fold cross-validation, it is shown that image search on deep pretrained features achieved promising results compared to those obtained by traditional classifiers trained on the same features. To the best of knowledge, it is the first study to demonstrate that deep pretrained features can be used for CBIR of pneumothorax in half a million chest X-ray images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Medicine - 18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2020, Proceedings
EditorsMartin Michalowski, Robert Moskovitch
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783030591366
StatePublished - 2020
Event18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2020 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Aug 25 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12299 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, AIME 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Chest X-ray images
  • Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR)
  • Deep learning
  • Image search
  • Pneumothorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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