Predicting three-year kidney graft survival in recipients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Predicting the outcome of kidney transplantation is important in optimizing transplantation parameters and modifying factors related to the recipient, donor, and transplant procedure. As patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) secondary to lupus nephropathy are generally younger than the typical ESRD patients and also seem to have inferior transplant outcome, developing an outcome prediction model in this patient category has high clinical relevance. The goal of this study was to compare methods of building prediction models of kidney transplant outcome that potentially can be useful for clinical decision support. We applied three well-known data mining methods (classification trees, logistic regression, and artificial neural networks) to the data describing recipients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the US Renal Data System (USRDS) database. The 95% confidence interval (CI) of the area under the receiver-operator characteristic curves (AUC) was used to measure the discrimination ability of the prediction models. Two groups of predictors were selected to build the prediction models. Using input variables based on Weka (a open source machine learning software) supplemented with additional variables of known clinical relevance (38 total predictors), the logistic regression performed the best overall (AUC: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.72-0.77)-significantly better (p < 0.05) than the classification trees (AUC: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.67-0.72) but not significantly better (p = 0.218) than the artificial neural networks (AUC: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.69-0.73). The performance of the artificial neural networks was not significantly better than that of the classification trees (p = 0.693). Using the more parsimonious subset of variables (six variables), the logistic regression (AUC: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.71-0.75) did not perform significantly better than either the classification tree (AUC: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.68-0.73) or the artificial neural network (AUC: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.70-0.75) models. We generated several models predicting 3-year allograft survival in kidney transplant recipients with SLE that potentially can be used in practice. The performance of logistic regression and classification tree was not inferior to more complex artificial neural network. Prediction models may be used in clinical practice to identify patients at risk.