Artificial intelligence for prediction of donor liver allograft steatosis and early post-transplantation graft failure

HPB (Oxford). 2022 May;24(5):764-771. doi: 10.1016/j.hpb.2021.10.004. Epub 2021 Nov 1.


Background: Donor livers undergo subjective pathologist review of steatosis before transplantation to mitigate the risk for early allograft dysfunction (EAD). We developed an objective, computer vision artificial intelligence (CVAI) platform to score donor liver steatosis and compared its capability for predicting EAD against pathologist steatosis scores.

Methods: Two pathologists scored digitized donor liver biopsy slides from 2014 to 2019. We trained four CVAI platforms with 1:99 training:prediction split. Mean intersection-over-union (IU) characterized CVAI model accuracy. We defined EAD using liver function tests within 1 week of transplantation. We calculated separate EAD logistic regression models with CVAI and pathologist steatosis and compared the models' discrimination and internal calibration.

Results: From 90 liver biopsies, 25,494 images trained CVAI models yielding peak mean IU = 0.80. CVAI steatosis scores were lower than pathologist scores (median 3% vs 20%, P < 0.001). Among 41 transplanted grafts, 46% developed EAD. The median CVAI steatosis score was higher for those with EAD (2.9% vs 1.9%, P = 0.02). CVAI steatosis was independently associated with EAD after adjusting for donor age, donor diabetes, and MELD score (aOR = 1.34, 95%CI = 1.03-1.75, P = 0.03).

Conclusion: The CVAI steatosis EAD model demonstrated slightly better calibration than pathologist steatosis, meriting further investigation into which modality most accurately and reliably predicts post-transplantation outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allografts
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Fatty Liver* / diagnosis
  • Fatty Liver* / pathology
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Liver Transplantation* / methods
  • Living Donors
  • Risk Factors