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Title: Novel classification of axial spondyloarthritis to predict radiographic progression using machine learning
OBJECTIVES: Prediction and determination of drug efficacy for radiographic progression is limited by the heterogeneity inherent in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). We investigated whether unbiased clustering analysis of phenotypic data can lead to coherent subgroups of axSpA patients with a distinct risk of radiographic progression. METHODS: A group of 412 patients with axSpA was clustered in an unbiased way using a agglomerative hierarchical clustering method, based on their phenotype mapping. We used a generalised linear model, naïve Bayes, Decision Trees, K-Nearest-Neighbors, and Support Vector Machines to construct a consensus classification method. Radiographic progression over 2 years was assessed using the modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS). RESULTS: axSpA patients were classified into three distinct subgroups with distinct clinical characteristics. Sex, smoking, HLA-B27, baseline mSASSS, uveitis, and peripheral arthritis were the key features that were found to stratifying the phenogroups. The three phenogroups showed distinct differences in radiographic progression rate (p<0.05) and the proportion of progressors (p<0.001). Phenogroup 2, consisting of male smokers, had the worst radiographic progression, while phenogroup 3, exclusively suffering from uveitis, showed the least radiographic progression. The axSpA phenogroup classification, including its ability to stratify risk, was successfully replicated in an independent validation group. CONCLUSIONS: Phenotype mapping results in a clinically relevant classification of more » axSpA that is applicable for risk stratification. Novel coupling between phenotypic features and radiographic progression can provide a glimpse into the mechanisms underlying divergent and shared features of axSpA. « less
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Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology
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National Science Foundation
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