Machine learning algorithms for the prognostication of abdominal aortic aneurysm progression: a systematic review

Ullah, Nazifa, Kiu Chou, Wing, Vardanyan, Robert, Arjomandi Rad, Arian, Shah, Viraj, Torabi, Saeed, Avabdze, Dani, Airapetyan, Arkady A., Zubarevich, Alina et al (2023) Machine learning algorithms for the prognostication of abdominal aortic aneurysm progression: a systematic review. Minerva Surgery . ISSN 2724-5438

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Introduction: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), often characterized by an abdominal aortic diameter over 3.0 cm, is managed through screening, surveillance, and surgical intervention. AAA growth can be heterogeneous and rupture carries a high mortality rate, with size and certain risk factors influencing rupture risk. Research is ongoing to accurately predict individual AAA growth rates for personalized management. Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, has shown promise in various medical fields, including endoleak detection post-EVAR. However, its application for predicting AAA growth remains insufficiently explored, thus necessitating further investigation. Subsequently, this paper aims to summarize the current status of machine learning in predicting AAA growth.

Evidence acquisition: A systematic database search of Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane, PubMed and Google Scholar from inception till December 2022 was conducted of original articles that discussed the use of machine learning in predicting AAA growth using the aforementioned databases.

Evidence synthesis: Overall, 2742 articles were extracted, of which seven retrospective studies involving 410 patients were included using a predetermined criteria. Six out of seven studies applied a supervised learning approach for their machine learning (ML) models, with considerable diversity observed within specific ML models. The majority of the studies concluded that machine learning models perform better in predicting AAA growth in comparison to reference models. All studies focused on predicting AAA growth over specified durations. Maximal luminal diameter was the most frequently used indicator, with alternative predictors being AAA volume, ILT (intraluminal thrombus) and flow-medicated diameter (FMD).

Conclusions: The nascent field of applying machine learning (ML) for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) expansion prediction exhibits potential to enhance predictive accuracy across diverse parameters. Future studies must emphasize evidencing clinical utility in a healthcare system context, thereby ensuring patient outcome improvement. This will necessitate addressing key ethical implications in establishing prospective studies related to this topic and collaboration among pivotal stakeholders within the AI field.

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