Background: Machine learning (ML) methods to build prediction models starting from electrocardiogram (ECG) signals are an emerging research field. The aim of the present study is to investigate the performances of two ML approaches based on ECGs for the prediction of new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), in terms of discrimination, calibration and sample size dependence. Methods: We trained two models to predict new-onset AF: a convolutional neural network (CNN), that takes as input the raw ECG signals, and an eXtreme Gradient Boosting model (XGB), that uses the signal's extracted features. A penalized logistic regression model (LR) was used as a benchmark. Discrimination was evaluated with the area under the ROC curve, while calibration with the integrated calibration index. We investigated the dependence of models' performances on the sample size and on class imbalance corrections introduced with random under-sampling. Results: CNN's discrimination was the most affected by the sample size, outperforming XGB and LR only around n = 10.000 observations. Calibration showed only a small dependence on the sample size for all the models considered. Balancing the training set with random undersampling did not improve discrimination in any of the models. Instead, the main effect of imbalance corrections was to worsen the models' calibration (for CNN, integrated calibration index from 0.014 [0.01, 0.018] to 0.17 [0.16, 0.19]). The sample size emerged as a fundamental point for developing the CNN model, especially in terms of discrimination (AUC = 0.75 [0.73, 0.77] when n = 10.000, AUC = 0.80 [0.79, 0.81] when n = 150.000). The effect of the sample size on the other two models was weaker. Imbalance corrections led to poorly calibrated models, for all the approaches considered, reducing the clinical utility of the models. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the choice of approach in the analysis of ECG should be based on the amount of data available, preferring more standard models for small datasets. Moreover, imbalance correction methods should be avoided when developing clinical prediction models, where calibration is crucial.

Comparison of discrimination and calibration performance of ECG-based machine learning models for prediction of new-onset atrial fibrillation

Baj, Giovanni
;
Gandin, Ilaria;Scagnetto, Arjuna;Bortolussi, Luca;Cappelletto, Chiara;Di Lenarda, Andrea;Barbati, Giulia
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: Machine learning (ML) methods to build prediction models starting from electrocardiogram (ECG) signals are an emerging research field. The aim of the present study is to investigate the performances of two ML approaches based on ECGs for the prediction of new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), in terms of discrimination, calibration and sample size dependence. Methods: We trained two models to predict new-onset AF: a convolutional neural network (CNN), that takes as input the raw ECG signals, and an eXtreme Gradient Boosting model (XGB), that uses the signal's extracted features. A penalized logistic regression model (LR) was used as a benchmark. Discrimination was evaluated with the area under the ROC curve, while calibration with the integrated calibration index. We investigated the dependence of models' performances on the sample size and on class imbalance corrections introduced with random under-sampling. Results: CNN's discrimination was the most affected by the sample size, outperforming XGB and LR only around n = 10.000 observations. Calibration showed only a small dependence on the sample size for all the models considered. Balancing the training set with random undersampling did not improve discrimination in any of the models. Instead, the main effect of imbalance corrections was to worsen the models' calibration (for CNN, integrated calibration index from 0.014 [0.01, 0.018] to 0.17 [0.16, 0.19]). The sample size emerged as a fundamental point for developing the CNN model, especially in terms of discrimination (AUC = 0.75 [0.73, 0.77] when n = 10.000, AUC = 0.80 [0.79, 0.81] when n = 150.000). The effect of the sample size on the other two models was weaker. Imbalance corrections led to poorly calibrated models, for all the approaches considered, reducing the clinical utility of the models. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the choice of approach in the analysis of ECG should be based on the amount of data available, preferring more standard models for small datasets. Moreover, imbalance correction methods should be avoided when developing clinical prediction models, where calibration is crucial.
2023
Pubblicato
https://bmcmedresmethodol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12874-023-01989-3
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10363301/
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3055238
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