Aims: Traditional prognostic risk assessment in patients undergoing non-invasive imaging is based upon a limited selection of clinical and imaging findings. Machine learning (ML) can consider a greater number and complexity of variables. Therefore, we investigated the feasibility and accuracy of ML to predict 5-year all-cause mortality (ACM) in patients undergoing coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA), and compared the performance to existing clinical or CCTA metrics.
Methods and results: The analysis included 10 030 patients with suspected coronary artery disease and 5-year follow-up from the COronary CT Angiography EvaluatioN For Clinical Outcomes: An InteRnational Multicenter registry. All patients underwent CCTA as their standard of care. Twenty-five clinical and 44 CCTA parameters were evaluated, including segment stenosis score (SSS), segment involvement score (SIS), modified Duke index (DI), number of segments with non-calcified, mixed or calcified plaques, age, sex, gender, standard cardiovascular risk factors, and Framingham risk score (FRS). Machine learning involved automated feature selection by information gain ranking, model building with a boosted ensemble algorithm, and 10-fold stratified cross-validation. Seven hundred and forty-five patients died during 5-year follow-up. Machine learning exhibited a higher area-under-curve compared with the FRS or CCTA severity scores alone (SSS, SIS, DI) for predicting all-cause mortality (ML: 0.79 vs. FRS: 0.61, SSS: 0.64, SIS: 0.64, DI: 0.62; P< 0.001).
Conclusions: Machine learning combining clinical and CCTA data was found to predict 5-year ACM significantly better than existing clinical or CCTA metrics alone.
Keywords: Coronary CT angiography; Coronary artery disease; Machine learning; Prognosis.
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