Machine learning for the prediction of minor amputation in University of Texas grade 3 diabetic foot ulcers

Minor amputations are performed in a large proportion of patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) and early identification of the outcome of minor amputations facilitates medical decision-making and ultimately reduces major amputations and deaths. However, there are currently no clinical predictive tools for minor amputations in patients with DFU. We aim to establish a predictive model based on machine learning to quickly identify patients requiring minor amputation among newly admitted patients with DFU. Overall, 362 cases with University of Texas grade (UT) 3 DFU were screened from tertiary care hospitals in East China. We utilized the synthetic minority oversampling strategy to compensate for the disparity in the initial dataset. A univariable analysis revealed nine variables to be included in the model: random blood glucose, years with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, peripheral arterial diseases, DFU history, smoking history, albumin, creatinine, and C-reactive protein. Then, risk prediction models based on five machine learning algorithms: decision tree, random forest, logistic regression, support vector machine, and extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) were independently developed with these variables. After evaluation, XGBoost earned the highest score (accuracy 0.814, precision 0.846, recall 0.767, F1-score 0.805, and AUC 0.881). For convenience, a web-based calculator based on our data and the XGBoost algorithm was established (https://dfuprediction.azurewebsites.net/). These findings imply that XGBoost can be used to develop a reliable prediction model for minor amputations in patients with UT3 DFU, and that our online calculator will make it easier for clinicians to assess the risk of minor amputations and make proactive decisions.

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