ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Machine learning techniques in cardiac risk assessment
Elif Kartal1, Mehmet Erdal Balaban2
1Informatics Department, İstanbul University, İstanbul, Turkey
2Turkish Community Services Foundation (TOVAK), İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2018.15559
Background: The objective of this study was to predict the mortality risk of patients during or shortly after cardiac surgery by using machine learning techniques and their learning abilities from collected data.

Methods: The dataset was obtained from Acıbadem Maslak Hospital. Risk factors of the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE) were used to predict mortality risk. First, Standard EuroSCORE scores of patients were calculated and risk groups were determined, because 30-day follow-up information of patients was not available in the dataset. Models were created with five different machine learning algorithms and two different datasets including age, serum creatinine, left ventricular dysfunction, and pulmonary hypertension were numeric in Dataset 1 and categorical in Dataset 2. Model performance evaluation was performed with 10-fold cross-validation.

Results: Data analysis and performance evaluation were performed with R, RStudio and Shiny. C4.5 was selected as the best algorithm for risk prediction (accuracy= 0.989) in Dataset 1. This model indicated that pulmonary hypertension, recent myocardial infarct, surgery on thoracic aorta are the primary three risk factors that affect the mortality risk of patients during or shortly after cardiac surgery. Also, this model is used to develop a dynamic web application which is also accessible from mobile devices ( The C4.5 decision tree model was identified as having the highest performance in Dataset 1 in predicting the mortality risk of patients. Using the numerical values of the risk factors can be useful in increasing the performance of machine learning models. Development of hospital-specific local assessment systems using hospital data, such as the application in this study, would be beneficial for both patients and doctors.

Keywords : Cardiology; machine learning; risk assessment
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