Automated prediction of extubation success in extremely preterm infants: the APEX multicenter study

Pediatr Res. 2023 Mar;93(4):1041-1049. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02210-9. Epub 2022 Jul 29.


Background: Extremely preterm infants are frequently subjected to mechanical ventilation. Current prediction tools of extubation success lacks accuracy.

Methods: Multicenter study including infants with birth weight ≤1250 g undergoing their first extubation attempt. Clinical data and cardiorespiratory signals were acquired before extubation. Primary outcome was prediction of extubation success. Automated analysis of cardiorespiratory signals, development of clinical and cardiorespiratory features, and a 2-stage Clinical Decision-Balanced Random Forest classifier were used. A leave-one-out cross-validation was done. Performance was analyzed by ROC curves and determined by balanced accuracy. An exploratory analysis was performed for extubations before 7 days of age.

Results: A total of 241 infants were included and 44 failed (18%) extubation. The classifier had a balanced accuracy of 73% (sensitivity 70% [95% CI: 63%, 76%], specificity 75% [95% CI: 62%, 88%]). As an additional clinical-decision tool, the classifier would have led to an increase in extubation success from 82% to 93% but misclassified 60 infants who would have been successfully extubated. In infants extubated before 7 days of age, the classifier identified 16/18 failures (specificity 89%) and 73/105 infants with success (sensitivity 70%).

Conclusions: Machine learning algorithms may improve a balanced prediction of extubation outcomes, but further refinement and validation is required.

Impact: A machine learning-derived predictive model combining clinical data with automated analyses of individual cardiorespiratory signals may improve the prediction of successful extubation and identify infants at higher risk of failure with a good balanced accuracy. Such multidisciplinary approach including medicine, biomedical engineering and computer science is a step forward as current tools investigated to predict extubation outcomes lack sufficient balanced accuracy to justify their use in future trials or clinical practice. Thus, this individualized assessment can optimize patient selection for future trials of extubation readiness by decreasing exposure of low-risk infants to interventions and maximize the benefits of those at high risk.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Airway Extubation
  • Birth Weight
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Extremely Premature*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Ventilator Weaning*

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