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Predicting Hospitalization and Outpatient Corticosteroid Use in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Using Machine Learning.

Waljee AK, Lipson R, Wiitala WL, Zhang Y, Liu B, Zhu J, Wallace B, Govani SM, Stidham RW, Hayward R, Higgins PDR. Predicting Hospitalization and Outpatient Corticosteroid Use in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Using Machine Learning. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2017 Dec 19; 24(1):45-53.

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Abstract:

Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease characterized by unpredictable episodes of flares and periods of remission. Tools that accurately predict disease course would substantially aid therapeutic decision-making. This study aims to construct a model that accurately predicts the combined end point of outpatient corticosteroid use and hospitalizations as a surrogate for IBD flare. Methods: Predictors evaluated included age, sex, race, use of corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive medications (immunomodulators and/or anti-TNF), longitudinal laboratory data, and number of previous IBD-related hospitalizations and outpatient corticosteroid prescriptions. We constructed models using logistic regression and machine learning methods (random forest [RF]) to predict the combined end point of hospitalization and/or corticosteroid use for IBD within 6 months. Results: We identified 20,368 Veterans Health Administration patients with the first (index) IBD diagnosis between 2002 and 2009. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AuROC) for the baseline logistic regression model was 0.68 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.67-0.68). AuROC for the RF longitudinal model was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.84-0.85). AuROC for the RF longitudinal model using previous hospitalization or steroid use was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.87-0.88). The 5 leading independent risk factors for future hospitalization or steroid use were age, mean serum albumin, immunosuppressive medication use, and mean and highest platelet counts. Previous hospitalization and corticosteroid use were highly predictive when included in specified models. Conclusions: A novel machine learning model substantially improved our ability to predict IBD-related hospitalization and outpatient steroid use. This model could be used at point of care to distinguish patients at high and low risk for disease flare, allowing individualized therapeutic management.





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