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In BioData mining

BACKGROUND : Sepsis is a life-threatening clinical condition that happens when the patient's body has an excessive reaction to an infection, and should be treated in one hour. Due to the urgency of sepsis, doctors and physicians often do not have enough time to perform laboratory tests and analyses to help them forecast the consequences of the sepsis episode. In this context, machine learning can provide a fast computational prediction of sepsis severity, patient survival, and sequential organ failure by just analyzing the electronic health records of the patients. Also, machine learning can be employed to understand which features in the medical records are more predictive of sepsis severity, of patient survival, and of sequential organ failure in a fast and non-invasive way.

DATASET AND METHODS : In this study, we analyzed a dataset of electronic health records of 364 patients collected between 2014 and 2016. The medical record of each patient has 29 clinical features, and includes a binary value for survival, a binary value for septic shock, and a numerical value for the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score. We disjointly utilized each of these three factors as an independent target, and employed several machine learning methods to predict it (binary classifiers for survival and septic shock, and regression analysis for the SOFA score). Afterwards, we used a data mining approach to identify the most important dataset features in relation to each of the three targets separately, and compared these results with the results achieved through a standard biostatistics approach.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS : Our results showed that machine learning can be employed efficiently to predict septic shock, SOFA score, and survival of patients diagnoses with sepsis, from their electronic health records data. And regarding clinical feature ranking, our results showed that Random Forests feature selection identified several unexpected symptoms and clinical components as relevant for septic shock, SOFA score, and survival. These discoveries can help doctors and physicians in understanding and predicting septic shock. We made the analyzed dataset and our developed software code publicly available online.

Chicco Davide, Oneto Luca


Binary classification, Data analytics, Data science, Feature ranking, Machine learning, Regression analysis, SOFA, Sepsis, Septic severity, Septic shock, Sequential organ failure assessment, Survival