BACKGROUND: Preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction are placental dysfunction-related disorders (PDDs) that require a referral decision be made within a certain time period. An appropriate prediction model should be developed for these diseases. However, previous models did not demonstrate robust performances and/or they were developed from datasets with highly imbalanced classes. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we developed a predictive model of PDDs by machine learning that uses features at 24-37 weeks' gestation, including maternal characteristics, uterine artery (UtA) Doppler measures, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-1 (sFlt-1), and placental growth factor (PlGF). METHODS: A public dataset was taken from a prospective cohort study that included pregnant women with PDDs (66/95, 69%) and a control group (29/95, 31%). Preliminary selection of features was based on a statistical analysis using SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute). We used Weka (Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis) 3.8.3 (The University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ) to automatically select the best model using its optimization algorithm. We also manually selected the best of 23 white-box models. Models, including those from recent studies, were also compared by interval estimation of evaluation metrics. We used the Matthew correlation coefficient (MCC) as the main metric. It is not overoptimistic to evaluate the performance of a prediction model developed from a dataset with a class imbalance. Repeated 10-fold cross-validation was applied. RESULTS: The classification via regression model was chosen as the best model. Our model had a robust MCC (.93, 95% CI .87-1.00, vs .64, 95% CI .57-.71) and specificity (100%, 95% CI 100-100, vs 90%, 95% CI 90-90) compared to each metric of the best models from recent studies. The sensitivity of this model was not inferior (95%, 95% CI 91-100, vs 100%, 95% CI 92-100). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was also competitive (0.970, 95% CI 0.966-0.974, vs 0.987, 95% CI 0.980-0.994). Features in the best model were maternal weight, BMI, pulsatility index of the UtA, sFlt-1, and PlGF. The most important feature was the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio. This model used an M5P algorithm consisting of a decision tree and four linear models with different thresholds. Our study was also better than the best ones among recent studies in terms of the class balance and the size of the case class (66/95, 69%, vs 27/239, 11.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Our model had a robust predictive performance. It was also developed to deal with the problem of a class imbalance. In the context of clinical management, this model may improve maternal mortality and neonatal morbidity and reduce health care costs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas