Machine Learning-Based Predictive Modeling of Surgical Intervention in Glaucoma Using Systemic Data From Electronic Health Records

Am J Ophthalmol. 2019 Dec;208:30-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2019.07.005. Epub 2019 Jul 16.


Purpose: To predict the need for surgical intervention in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) using systemic data in electronic health records (EHRs).

Design: Development and evaluation of machine learning models.

Methods: Structured EHR data of 385 POAG patients from a single academic institution were incorporated into models using multivariable logistic regression, random forests, and artificial neural networks. Leave-one-out cross-validation was performed. Mean area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and Youden index were calculated for each model to evaluate performance. Systemic variables driving predictions were identified and interpreted.

Results: Multivariable logistic regression was most effective at discriminating patients with progressive disease requiring surgery, with an AUC of 0.67. Higher mean systolic blood pressure was associated with significantly increased odds of needing glaucoma surgery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.09, P < .001). Ophthalmic medications (OR = 0.28, P < .001), non-opioid analgesic medications (OR = 0.21, P = .002), anti-hyperlipidemic medications (OR = 0.39, P = .004), macrolide antibiotics (OR = 0.40, P = .03), and calcium blockers (OR = 0.43, P = .03) were associated with decreased odds of needing glaucoma surgery.

Conclusions: Existing systemic data in the EHR has some predictive value in identifying POAG patients at risk of progression to surgical intervention, even in the absence of eye-specific data. Blood pressure-related metrics and certain medication classes emerged as predictors of glaucoma progression. This approach provides an opportunity for future development of automated risk prediction within the EHR based on systemic data to assist with clinical decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Progression
  • Electronic Health Records / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Filtering Surgery / methods*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Machine Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Odds Ratio
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity