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Classification and Regression Tree Predictive Model for Acute Kidney Injury in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients.

BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is prevalent in hospitalized patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and increases the risk of poor outcomes. We designed this study to develop a visual and convenient decision-tree-based model for predicting AKI in TBI patients.

METHODS: A total of 376 patients admitted to the emergency department of the West China Hospital for TBI between January 2015 and June 2019 were included. Demographic information, vital signs on admission, laboratory test results, radiological signs, surgical options, and medications were recorded as variables. AKI was confirmed since the second day after admission, based on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria. We constructed two predictive models for AKI using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression and classification and regression tree (CART), respectively. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of these two predictive models were drawn, and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) was calculated to compare their predictive accuracy.

RESULTS: The incidence of AKI on the second day after admission was 10.4% among patients with TBI. Lasso regression identified five potent predictive factors for AKI: glucose, serum creatinine, cystatin C, serum uric acid, and fresh frozen plasma transfusions. The CART analysis showed that glucose, serum uric acid, and cystatin C ranked among the top three in terms of the feature importance of the decision tree model. The AUC value of the decision-tree predictive model was 0.892, which was higher than the 0.854 of the LASSO regression model, although the difference was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: The decision tree model is valuable for predicting AKI among patients with TBI. This tree-based flowchart is convenient for physicians to identify patients with TBI who are at high risk of AKI and prompts them to develop suitable therapeutic strategies.

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