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In Journal of translational medicine

BACKGROUND : Early prediction of acute kidney injury (AKI) after liver transplantation (LT) facilitates timely recognition and intervention. We aimed to build a risk predictor of post-LT AKI via supervised machine learning and visualize the mechanism driving within to assist clinical decision-making.

METHODS : Data of 894 cases that underwent liver transplantation from January 2015 to September 2019 were collected, covering demographics, donor characteristics, etiology, peri-operative laboratory results, co-morbidities and medications. The primary outcome was new-onset AKI after LT according to Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes guidelines. Predicting performance of five classifiers including logistic regression, support vector machine, random forest, gradient boosting machine (GBM) and adaptive boosting were respectively evaluated by the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC), accuracy, F1-score, sensitivity and specificity. Model with the best performance was validated in an independent dataset involving 195 adult LT cases from October 2019 to March 2021. SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) method was applied to evaluate feature importance and explain the predictions made by ML algorithms.

RESULTS : 430 AKI cases (55.1%) were diagnosed out of 780 included cases. The GBM model achieved the highest AUC (0.76, CI 0.70 to 0.82), F1-score (0.73, CI 0.66 to 0.79) and sensitivity (0.74, CI 0.66 to 0.8) in the internal validation set, and a comparable AUC (0.75, CI 0.67 to 0.81) in the external validation set. High preoperative indirect bilirubin, low intraoperative urine output, long anesthesia time, low preoperative platelets, and graft steatosis graded NASH CRN 1 and above were revealed by SHAP method the top 5 important variables contributing to the diagnosis of post-LT AKI made by GBM model.

CONCLUSIONS : Our GBM-based predictor of post-LT AKI provides a highly interoperable tool across institutions to assist decision-making after LT.

Zhang Yihan, Yang Dong, Liu Zifeng, Chen Chaojin, Ge Mian, Li Xiang, Luo Tongsen, Wu Zhengdong, Shi Chenguang, Wang Bohan, Huang Xiaoshuai, Zhang Xiaodong, Zhou Shaoli, Hei Ziqing


Artificial intelligence, Big data, Clinical assisting tool, Gradient boosting machine, Kidney dysfunction, Liver transplant, Perioperative medicine, Prognostic predictor, SHAP value, SHapley Additive exPlaination methods