A new machine learning approach for predicting the response to anemia treatment in a large cohort of End Stage Renal Disease patients undergoing dialysis

Comput Biol Med. 2015 Jun;61:56-61. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2015.03.019. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) anemia is one of the main common comorbidities in patients undergoing End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Iron supplement and especially Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA) have become the treatment of choice for that anemia. However, it is very complicated to find an adequate treatment for every patient in each particular situation since dosage guidelines are based on average behaviors, and thus, they do not take into account the particular response to those drugs by different patients, although that response may vary enormously from one patient to another and even for the same patient in different stages of the anemia. This work proposes an advance with respect to previous works that have faced this problem using different methodologies (Machine Learning (ML), among others), since the diversity of the CKD population has been explicitly taken into account in order to produce a general and reliable model for the prediction of ESA/Iron therapy response. Furthermore, the ML model makes use of both human physiology and drug pharmacology to produce a model that outperforms previous approaches, yielding Mean Absolute Errors (MAE) of the Hemoglobin (Hb) prediction around or lower than 0.6 g/dl in the three countries analyzed in the study, namely, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Keywords: Anemia; Chronic Kidney Disease; Hemoglobin; Machine learning; Prediction.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Anemia* / blood
  • Anemia* / drug therapy
  • Anemia* / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Machine Learning*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Renal Dialysis*