Graft Rejection Prediction Following Kidney Transplantation Using Machine Learning Techniques: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2019 Aug 21:264:10-14. doi: 10.3233/SHTI190173.


Kidney transplantation is recommended for patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). However, complications, such as graft rejection are hard to predict due to donor and recipient variability. This study discusses the role of machine learning (ML) in predicting graft rejection following kidney transplantation, by reviewing the available related literature. PubMed, DBLP, and Scopus databases were searched to identify studies that utilized ML methods, in predicting outcome following kidney transplants. Fourteen studies were included. This study reviewed the deployment of ML in 109,317 kidney transplant patients from 14 studies. We extracted five different ML algorithms from reviewed studies. Decision Tree (DT) algorithms revealed slightly higher performance with overall mean Area Under the Curve (AUC) for DT (79.5% ± 0.06) was higher than Artificial Neural Network (ANN) (78.2% ± 0.08). For predicting graft rejection, ANN and DT were at the top among ML models that had higher accuracy and AUC.

Keywords: Graft Rejection; Kidney Transplantation; Machine Learning.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Graft Rejection*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Machine Learning*
  • Tissue Donors