AbstractThe impression section of a radiology report summarizes the most prominent observation from the findings section and is the most important section for radiologists to communicate to physicians. Summarizing findings is time-consuming and can be prone to error for inexperienced radiologists, and thus automatic impression generation has attracted substantial attention. With the encoder-decoder framework, most previous studies explore incorporating extra knowledge (e.g., static pre-defined clinical ontologies or extra background information). Yet, they encode such knowledge by a separate encoder to treat it as an extra input to their models, which is limited in leveraging their relations with the original findings. To address the limitation, we propose a unified framework for exploiting both extra knowledge and the original findings in an integrated way so that the critical information (i.e., key words and their relations) can be extracted in an appropriate way to facilitate impression generation. In detail, for each input findings, it is encoded by a text encoder and a graph is constructed through its entities and dependency tree. Then, a graph encoder (e.g., graph neural networks (GNNs)) is adopted to model relation information in the constructed graph. Finally, to emphasize the key words in the findings, contrastive learning is introduced to map positive samples (constructed by masking non-key words) closer and push apart negative ones (constructed by masking key words). The experimental results on two datasets, OpenI and MIMIC-CXR, confirm the effectiveness of our proposed method, where the state-of-the-art results are achieved.