Computed tomography machine learning classifier correlates with mortality in interstitial lung disease

Respir Investig. 2024 May 20;62(4):670-676. doi: 10.1016/j.resinv.2024.05.010. Online ahead of print.


Background: A machine learning classifier system, Fibresolve, was designed and validated as an adjunct to non-invasive diagnosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The system uses a deep learning algorithm to analyze chest computed tomography (CT) imaging. We hypothesized that Fibresolve is a useful predictor of mortality in interstitial lung diseases (ILD).

Methods: Fibresolve was previously validated in a multi-site >500-patient dataset. In this analysis, we assessed the usefulness of Fibresolve to predict mortality in a subset of 228 patients with IPF and other ILDs in whom follow up data was available. We applied Cox regression analysis adjusting for the Gender, Age, and Physiology (GAP) score and for other known predictors of mortality in IPF. We also analyzed the role of Fibresolve as tertiles adjusting for GAP stages.

Results: During a median follow-up of 2.8 years (range 5 to 3434 days), 89 patients died. After adjusting for GAP score and other mortality risk factors, the Fibresolve score significantly predicted the risk of death (HR: 7.14; 95% CI: 1.31-38.85; p = 0.02) during the follow-up period, as did forced vital capacity and history of lung cancer. After adjusting for GAP stages and other variables, Fibresolve score split into tertiles significantly predicted the risk of death (p = 0.027 for the model; HR 1.37 for 2nd tertile; 95% CI: 0.77-2.42. HR 2.19 for 3rd tertile; 95% CI: 1.22-3.93).

Conclusions: The machine learning classifier Fibresolve demonstrated to be an independent predictor of mortality in ILDs, with prognostic performance equivalent to GAP based solely on CT images.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Interstitial lung disease; Machine learning.