Artificial neural network model from a case series of COVID-19 patients: a prognostic analysis. Clinical presentation prognostic factors in COVID-19.

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Sergio Venturini
Daniele Orso
Francesco Cugini
Massimo Crapis
Sara Fossati
Astrid Callegari
Tommaso Pellis
Dario Carmelo Tomasello
Maurizio Tonizzo
Alessandro Grembiale
Natascia D'Andrea
Luigi Vetrugno
Tiziana Bove


COVID-19, Prognostic, Artificial Neural Network, Machine Learning, ICU, Mortality


Background and aim: There is a need to determine which clinical variables predict the severity of COVID-19. We analyzed a series of critically ill COVID-19 patients to see if any of our dataset's clinical variables were associated with patient outcomes.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data of COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU of the Hospital in Pordenone from March 11, 2020, to April 17, 2020. Patients' characteristics of survivors and deceased groups were compared. The variables with a different distribution between the two groups were implemented in a generalized linear regression model (LM) and in an Artificial Neural Network (NN) model to verify the "robustness" of the association with mortality.

Results: In the considered period, we reviewed the data of 22 consecutive patients: 8 died. The causes of death were a severe respiratory failure (3), multi-organ failure (1), septic shock (1), pulmonary thromboembolism (2), severe hemorrhage (1). Lymphocyte and the platelet count were significantly lower in the group of deceased patients (p-value 0.043 and 0.020, respectively; cut-off values: 660/mm3; 280,000/mm3, respectively). Prothrombin time showed a statistically significant trend (p-value= 0.065; cut-off point: 16.8/sec). The LM model (AIC= 19.032), compared to the NN model (Mean Absolute Error, MAE = 0.02), was substantially alike (MSE 0.159 vs. 0.136).

Conclusions: In the context of critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to ICU, lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and lengthening of prothrombin time were strictly correlated with higher mortality. Additional clinical data are needed to be able to validate this prognostic score.


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