Application and impact of Lasso regression in gastroenterology: A systematic review

Indian J Gastroenterol. 2023 Dec;42(6):780-790. doi: 10.1007/s12664-023-01426-9. Epub 2023 Aug 18.


Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) regression is a statistical technique that can be used to study the effects of clinical variables in outcome prediction. In this study, we aimed at systematically reviewing the application of Lasso regression in gastroenterology for developing predictive models and providing a method of performing Lasso regression. A comprehensive search strategy was conducted in PubMed, Embase and Cochrane CENTRAL databases (Keywords: lasso regression; gastrointestinal tract/diseases) following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Studies were screened for eligibility based on pre-defined selection criteria and the data was extracted using a standardized form. Total 16 studies were included, comprising a diverse range of gastroenterological disease-related outcomes. Sample sizes ranged from 134 to 8861 subjects. Eleven studies reported liver disease-related prediction models, while five focused on non-hepatic etiology models. Lasso regression was applied for variable selection, risk prediction and model development, with various validation methods and performance metrics used. Model performance metrics included Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (AUROC), C-index and calibration plots. In gastroenterology, Lasso regression has been used in various diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease and esophageal cancer. It is valuable for complex scenarios with many predictors. However, its effectiveness depends on high-quality and complete data. While it identifies important variables, it doesn't provide causal interpretations. Therefore, cautious interpretation is necessary considering the study design and data quality.

Keywords: Clinical decision-making; Diagnostic accuracy; Esophageal cancer; Gastroenterology; High-dimensional data; Inflammatory bowel disease; Lasso regression; Liver disease; Machine learning; Prediction modeling; Regularization; Variable selection.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastroenterology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases*
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve