Developing a practical neurodevelopmental prediction model for targeting high-risk very preterm infants during visit after NICU: a retrospective national longitudinal cohort study

on behalf of the Taiwan Premature Infant Follow-up Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Follow-up visits for very preterm infants (VPI) after hospital discharge is crucial for their neurodevelopmental trajectories, but ensuring their attendance before 12 months corrected age (CA) remains a challenge. Current prediction models focus on future outcomes at discharge, but post-discharge data may enhance predictions of neurodevelopmental trajectories due to brain plasticity. Few studies in this field have utilized machine learning models to achieve this potential benefit with transparency, explainability, and transportability. Methods: We developed four prediction models for cognitive or motor function at 24 months CA separately at each follow-up visits, two for the 6-month and two for the 12-month CA visits, using hospitalized and follow-up data of VPI from the Taiwan Premature Infant Follow-up Network from 2010 to 2017. Regression models were employed at 6 months CA, defined as a decline in The Bayley Scales of Infant Development 3rd edition (BSIDIII) composite score > 1 SD between 6- and 24-month CA. The delay models were developed at 12 months CA, defined as a BSIDIII composite score < 85 at 24 months CA. We used an evolutionary-derived machine learning method (EL-NDI) to develop models and compared them to those built by lasso regression, random forest, and support vector machine. Results: One thousand two hundred forty-four VPI were in the developmental set and the two validation cohorts had 763 and 1347 VPI, respectively. EL-NDI used only 4–10 variables, while the others required 29 or more variables to achieve similar performance. For models at 6 months CA, the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) of EL-NDI were 0.76–0.81(95% CI, 0.73–0.83) for cognitive regress with 4 variables and 0.79–0.83 (95% CI, 0.76–0.86) for motor regress with 4 variables. For models at 12 months CA, the AUC of EL-NDI were 0.75–0.78 (95% CI, 0.72–0.82) for cognitive delay with 10 variables and 0.73–0.82 (95% CI, 0.72–0.85) for motor delay with 4 variables. Conclusions: Our EL-NDI demonstrated good performance using simpler, transparent, explainable models for clinical purpose. Implementing these models for VPI during follow-up visits may facilitate more informed discussions between parents and physicians and identify high-risk infants more effectively for early intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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