Low Predictability of Readmissions and Death Using Machine Learning in Cirrhosis

Chang Hu, Vikram Anjur, Krishnakant Saboo, K. Rajender Reddy, Jacqueline O'Leary, Puneeta Tandon, Florence Wong, Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, Patrick S. Kamath, Jennifer C. Lai, Scott W. Biggins, Michael B. Fallon, Paul Thuluvath, Ram M. Subramanian, Benedict Maliakkal, Hugo Vargas, Leroy R. Thacker, Ravishankar K. Iyer, Jasmohan S. Bajaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Readmission and death in cirrhosis are common, expensive, and difficult to predict. Our aim was to evaluate the abilities of multiple artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to predict clinical outcomes based on variables collected at admission, during hospitalization, and at discharge. METHODS: We used the multicenter North American Consortium for the Study of End-Stage Liver Disease (NACSELD) cohort of cirrhotic inpatients who are followed up through 90-days postdischarge for readmission and death. We used statistical methods to select variables that are significant for readmission and death and trained 3 AI models, including logistic regression (LR), kernel support vector machine (SVM), and random forest classifiers (RFC), to predict readmission and death. We used the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) from 10-fold crossvalidation for evaluation to compare sexes. Data were compared with model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) at discharge. RESULTS: We included 2,170 patients (57 ± 11 years, MELD 18 ± 7, 61% men, 79% White, and 8% Hispanic). The 30-day and 90-day readmission rates were 28% and 47%, respectively, and 13% died at 90 days. Prediction for 30-day readmission resulted in 0.60 AUC for all patients with RFC, 0.57 AUC with LR for women-only subpopulation, and 0.61 AUC with LR for men-only subpopulation. For 90-day readmission, the highest AUC was achieved with kernel SVM and RFC (AUC = 0.62). We observed higher predictive value when training models with only women (AUC = 0.68 LR) vs men (AUC = 0.62 kernel SVM). Prediction for death resulted in 0.67 AUC for all patients, 0.72 for women-only subpopulation, and 0.69 for men-only subpopulation, all with LR. MELD-Na model AUC was similar to those from the AI models. DISCUSSION: Despite using multiple AI techniques, it is difficult to predict 30- and 90-day readmissions and death in cirrhosis. AI model accuracies were equivalent to models generated using only MELD-Na scores. Additional biomarkers are needed to improve our predictive capability (See also the visual abstract at http://links.lww.com/AJG/B710).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-346
Number of pages11
JournalThe American Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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