Clustering Heatmap for Visualizing and Exploring Complex and High-dimensional Data Related to Chronic Kidney Disease

Cheng-Sheng Yu, Chang-Hsien Lin, Yu-Jiun Lin, Shiyng-Yu Lin, Sen-Te Wang, Jenny L Wu, Ming-Hui Tsai, Shy-Shin Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Preventive medicine and primary health care are essential for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) because the symptoms of CKD may not appear until the renal function is severely compromised. Early identification of the risk factors of CKD is critical for preventing kidney damage and adverse outcomes. Early recognition of rapid progression to advanced CKD in certain high-risk populations is vital.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study, the population screened and the site where the study has been performed. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to assess the prediction of CKD as many potential risk factors are involved. The clustering heatmap and random forest provides an interactive visualization for the classification of patients with different CKD stages.

RESULTS: uric acid, blood urea nitrogen, waist circumference, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were significantly associated with CKD. CKD was highly associated with obesity, hyperglycemia, and liver function. Hypertension and HbA1c were in the same cluster with a similar pattern, whereas high-density lipoprotein cholesterol had an opposite pattern, which was also verified using heatmap. Early staged CKD patients who are grouped into the same cluster as advanced staged CKD patients could be at high risk for rapid decline of kidney function and should be closely monitored.

CONCLUSIONS: The clustering heatmap provided a new predictive model of health care management for patients at high risk of rapid CKD progression. This model could help physicians make an accurate diagnosis of this progressive and complex disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2020


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