Multimodal diagnosis of epilepsy using conditional dependence and multiple imputation

Int Workshop Pattern Recognit Neuroimaging. 2014 Jun;1-4. doi: 10.1109/PRNI.2014.6858526.


The definitive diagnosis of the type of epilepsy, if it exists, in medication-resistant seizure disorder is based on the efficient combination of clinical information, long-term video-electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroimaging. Diagnoses are reached by a consensus panel that combines these diverse modalities using clinical wisdom and experience. Here we compare two methods of multimodal computer-aided diagnosis, vector concatenation (VC) and conditional dependence (CD), using clinical archive data from 645 patients with medication-resistant seizure disorder, confirmed by video-EEG. CD models the clinical decision process, whereas VC allows for statistical modeling of cross-modality interactions. Due to the nature of clinical data, not all information was available in all patients. To overcome this, we multiply-imputed the missing data. Using a C4.5 decision tree, single modality classifiers achieved 53.1%, 51.5% and 51.1% average accuracy for MRI, clinical information and FDG-PET, respectively, for the discrimination between non-epileptic seizures, temporal lobe epilepsy, other focal epilepsies and generalized-onset epilepsy (vs. chance, p<0.01). Using VC, the average accuracy was significantly lower (39.2%). In contrast, the CD classifier that classified with MRI then clinical information achieved an average accuracy of 58.7% (vs. VC, p<0.01). The decrease in accuracy of VC compared to the MRI classifier illustrates how the addition of more informative features does not improve performance monotonically. The superiority of conditional dependence over vector concatenation suggests that the structure imposed by conditional dependence improved our ability to model the underlying diagnostic trends in the multimodality data.