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Analysis of Validation Performance of a Machine Learning Classifier in Interstitial Lung Disease Cases Without Definite or Probable Usual Interstitial Pneumonia Pattern on CT Using Clinical and Pathology-Supported Diagnostic Labels

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Abstract

We previously validated Fibresolve, a machine learning classifier system that non-invasively predicts idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) diagnosis. The system incorporates an automated deep learning algorithm that analyzes chest computed tomography (CT) imaging to assess for features associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we assess performance in assessment of patterns beyond those that are characteristic features of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern. The machine learning classifier was previously developed and validated using standard training, validation, and test sets, with clinical plus pathologically determined ground truth. The multi-site 295-patient validation dataset was used for focused subgroup analysis in this investigation to evaluate the classifier’s performance range in cases with and without radiologic UIP and probable UIP designations. Radiologic assessment of specific features for UIP including the presence and distribution of reticulation, ground glass, bronchiectasis, and honeycombing was used for assignment of radiologic pattern. Output from the classifier was assessed within various UIP subgroups. The machine learning classifier was able to classify cases not meeting the criteria for UIP or probable UIP as IPF with estimated sensitivity of 56–65% and estimated specificity of 92–94%. Example cases demonstrated non-basilar-predominant as well as ground glass patterns that were indeterminate for UIP by subjective imaging criteria but for which the classifier system was able to correctly identify the case as IPF as confirmed by multidisciplinary discussion generally inclusive of histopathology. The machine learning classifier Fibresolve may be helpful in the diagnosis of IPF in cases without radiological UIP and probable UIP patterns.

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Data Availability

The data analyzed during the study were provided by a third party. Requests for data should be directed to the provider indicated in the “Acknowledgements.”

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Acknowledgements

Software validation and performance analyses included public and non-public data sources. Public data sources included data provided by the Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC) supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); multimedia database of interstitial lung diseases [34]; and the Open Source Imaging Consortium (OSIC). We thank Diego Ardila for his contributions to important concepts behind the science and machine learning engineering of the software system.

Funding

This study was funded by Imvaria Inc.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

M.C., co-author and drafting and revision of the manuscript. J.J.R., primary investigator and conception and design of the work and drafting and final approval of the manuscript. A.K., co-author and design of the work and acquisition or analysis of data. M.M., co-author and design of the work and acquisition or analysis of data. Y.A., co-author and drafting and revision of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joshua J. Reicher.

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Ethics Approval

All datasets were acquired via 3rd parties under the IRB.

Competing Interests

Dr. Reicher, Dr. Muelly, and Mr. Kalra have a financial interest in Imvaria.

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Highlights

Key Points The Fibresolve system demonstrated consistent and clinically meaningful IPF diagnostic performance using CT in ILD cases without definite or probable usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern that would otherwise warrant invasive diagnostic tests, through incorporation of clinical and pathologic data into supervised model training labels.

Summary The Fibresolve AI system maintained specificity in IPF diagnosis across different radiological patterns while improving sensitivity, suggesting it may reduce morbidity, mortality, and time delays from invasive diagnostic testing.

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Chang, M., Reicher, J.J., Kalra, A. et al. Analysis of Validation Performance of a Machine Learning Classifier in Interstitial Lung Disease Cases Without Definite or Probable Usual Interstitial Pneumonia Pattern on CT Using Clinical and Pathology-Supported Diagnostic Labels. J Digit Imaging. Inform. med. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10278-023-00914-w

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