Deep learning prediction of likelihood of ICU admission and mortality in COVID-19 patients using clinical variables

PeerJ. 2020 Nov 6;8:e10337. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10337. eCollection 2020.


Background: This study aimed to develop a deep-learning model and a risk-score system using clinical variables to predict intensive care unit (ICU) admission and in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients.

Methods: This retrospective study consisted of 5,766 persons-under-investigation for COVID-19 between 7 February 2020 and 4 May 2020. Demographics, chronic comorbidities, vital signs, symptoms and laboratory tests at admission were collected. A deep neural network model and a risk-score system were constructed to predict ICU admission and in-hospital mortality. Prediction performance used the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (AUC).

Results: The top ICU predictors were procalcitonin, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, ferritin and oxygen saturation. The top mortality predictors were age, lactate dehydrogenase, procalcitonin, cardiac troponin, C-reactive protein and oxygen saturation. Age and troponin were unique top predictors for mortality but not ICU admission. The deep-learning model predicted ICU admission and mortality with an AUC of 0.780 (95% CI [0.760-0.785]) and 0.844 (95% CI [0.839-0.848]), respectively. The corresponding risk scores yielded an AUC of 0.728 (95% CI [0.726-0.729]) and 0.848 (95% CI [0.847-0.849]), respectively.

Conclusions: Deep learning and the resultant risk score have the potential to provide frontline physicians with quantitative tools to stratify patients more effectively in time-sensitive and resource-constrained circumstances.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Machine learning; Pneumonia; Prediction model; SARS-CoV-2.

Grant support

The authors received no funding for this work.