Machine Learning Models can Detect Aneurysm Rupture and Identify Clinical Features Associated with Rupture

World Neurosurg. 2019 Nov:131:e46-e51. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.06.231. Epub 2019 Jul 9.


Background: Machine learning (ML) has been increasingly used in medicine and neurosurgery. We sought to determine whether ML models can distinguish ruptured from unruptured aneurysms and identify features associated with rupture.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients with intracranial aneurysms detected on vascular imaging at our institution between 2002 and 2018. The dataset was used to train 3 ML models (random forest, linear support vector machine [SVM], and radial basis function kernel SVM). Relative contributions of individual predictors were derived from the linear SVM model.

Results: Complete data were available for 845 aneurysms in 615 patients. Ruptured aneurysms (n = 309, 37%) were larger (mean 6.51 mm vs. 5.73 mm; P = 0.02) and more likely to be in the posterior circulation (20% vs. 11%; P < 0.001) than unruptured aneurysms. Area under the receiver operating curve was 0.77 for the linear SVM, 0.78 for the radial basis function kernel SVM models, and 0.81 for the random forest model. Aneurysm location and size were the 2 features that contributed most significantly to the model. Posterior communicating artery, anterior communicating artery, and posterior inferior cerebellar artery locations were most highly associated with rupture, whereas paraclinoid and middle cerebral artery locations had the strongest association with unruptured status.

Conclusions: ML models are capable of accurately distinguishing ruptured from unruptured aneurysms and identifying features associated with rupture. Consistent with prior studies, location and size show the strongest association with aneurysm rupture.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Aneurysm rupture; Artificial intelligence; Machine learning; Subarachnoid hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnosis*
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Machine Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Support Vector Machine