Role for machine learning in sex-specific prediction of successful electrical cardioversion in atrial fibrillation?

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OBJECTIVE: Electrical cardioversion is frequently performed to restore sinus rhythm in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). However, AF recurs in many patients and identifying the patients who benefit from electrical cardioversion is difficult. The objective was to develop sex-specific prediction models for successful electrical cardioversion and assess the potential of machine learning methods in comparison with traditional logistic regression.

METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study, we examined several candidate predictors, including comorbidities, biochemistry, echocardiographic data, and medication. The outcome was successful cardioversion, defined as normal sinus rhythm immediately after the electrical cardioversion and no documented recurrence of AF within 3 months after. We used random forest and logistic regression models for sex-specific prediction.

RESULTS: The cohort comprised 332 female and 790 male patients with persistent AF who underwent electrical cardioversion. Cardioversion was successful in 44.9% of the women and 49.9% of the men. The prediction errors of the models were high for both women (41.0% for machine learning and 48.8% for logistic regression) and men (46.0% for machine learning and 44.8% for logistic regression). Discrimination was modest for both machine learning (0.59 for women and 0.56 for men) and logistic regression models (0.60 for women and 0.59 for men), although the models were well calibrated.

CONCLUSIONS: Sex-specific machine learning and logistic regression models showed modest predictive performance for successful electrical cardioversion. Identifying patients who will benefit from cardioversion remains challenging in clinical practice. The high recurrence rate calls for thoroughly informed shared decision-making for electrical cardioversion.

TidsskriftOpen Heart
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2020

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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