Development of a Machine Learning-Based Model for Predicting the Incidence of Peripheral Intravenous Catheter-Associated Phlebitis

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2024-0028

Introduction: Early and accurate identification of high-risk patients with peripheral intravascular catheter (PIVC)-related phlebitis is vital to prevent medical device-related complications.
Aim of the study: This study aimed to develop and validate a machine learning-based model for predicting the incidence of PIVC-related phlebitis in critically ill patients.
Materials and methods: Four machine learning models were created using data from patients ≥ 18 years with a newly inserted PIVC during intensive care unit admission. Models were developed and validated using a 7:3 split. Random survival forest (RSF) was used to create predictive models for time-to-event outcomes. Logistic regression with least absolute reduction and selection operator (LASSO), random forest (RF), and gradient boosting decision tree were used to develop predictive models that treat outcome as a binary variable. Cox proportional hazards (COX) and logistic regression (LR) were used as comparators for time-to-event and binary outcomes, respectively.
Results: The final cohort had 3429 PIVCs, which were divided into the development cohort (2400 PIVCs) and validation cohort (1029 PIVCs). The c-statistic (95% confidence interval) of the models in the validation cohort for discrimination were as follows: RSF, 0.689 (0.627–0.750); LASSO, 0.664 (0.610–0.717); RF, 0.699 (0.645–0.753); gradient boosting tree, 0.699 (0.647–0.750); COX, 0.516 (0.454–0.578); and LR, 0.633 (0.575–0.691). No significant difference was observed among the c-statistic of the four models for binary outcome. However, RSF had a higher c-statistic than COX. The important predictive factors in RSF included inserted site, catheter material, age, and nicardipine, whereas those in RF included catheter dwell duration, nicardipine, and age.
Conclusions: The RSF model for the survival time analysis of phlebitis occurrence showed relatively high prediction performance compared with the COX model. No significant differences in prediction performance were observed among the models with phlebitis occurrence as the binary outcome.

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