Posterior Urethral Valves Outcomes Prediction (PUVOP): a machine learning tool to predict clinically relevant outcomes in boys with posterior urethral valves

Pediatr Nephrol. 2022 May;37(5):1067-1074. doi: 10.1007/s00467-021-05321-3. Epub 2021 Oct 22.


Background: Early kidney and anatomic features may be predictive of future progression and need for additional procedures in patients with posterior urethral valve (PUV). The objective of this study was to use machine learning (ML) to predict clinically relevant outcomes in these patients.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with PUV with kidney function measurements at our institution between 2000 and 2020 were included. Pertinent clinical measures were abstracted, including estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at each visit, initial vesicoureteral reflux grade, and renal dysplasia at presentation. ML models were developed to predict clinically relevant outcomes: progression in CKD stage, initiation of kidney replacement therapy (KRT), and need for clean-intermittent catheterization (CIC). Model performance was assessed by concordance index (c-index) and the model was externally validated.

Results: A total of 103 patients were included with a median follow-up of 5.7 years. Of these patients, 26 (25%) had CKD progression, 18 (17%) required KRT, and 32 (31%) were prescribed CIC. Additionally, 22 patients were included for external validation. The ML model predicted CKD progression (c-index = 0.77; external C-index = 0.78), KRT (c-index = 0.95; external C-index = 0.89) and indicated CIC (c-index = 0.70; external C-index = 0.64), and all performed better than Cox proportional-hazards regression. The models have been packaged into a simple easy-to-use tool, available at CONCLUSION: ML-based approaches for predicting clinically relevant outcomes in PUV are feasible. Further validation is warranted, but this implementable model can act as a decision-making aid. A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information.

Keywords: Catheterization; Chronic kidney disease; Dialysis; Machine learning; Posterior urethral valve; Transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Male
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urethra
  • Urethral Obstruction*