Prediction of operative mortality for patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures without established risk scores

Chin Siang Ong, Erik Reinertsen, Haoqi Sun, Philicia Moonsamy, Navyatha Mohan, Masaki Funamoto, Tsuyoshi Kaneko, Prem S. Shekar, Stefano Schena, Jennifer S. Lawton, David A. D'Alessandro, M. Brandon Westover, Aaron D. Aguirre, Thoralf M. Sundt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Current cardiac surgery risk models do not address a substantial fraction of procedures. We sought to create models to predict the risk of operative mortality for an expanded set of cases. Methods: Four supervised machine learning models were trained using preoperative variables present in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) data set of the Massachusetts General Hospital to predict and classify operative mortality in procedures without STS risk scores. A total of 424 (5.5%) mortality events occurred out of 7745 cases. Models included logistic regression with elastic net regularization (LogReg), support vector machine, random forest (RF), and extreme gradient boosted trees (XGBoost). Model discrimination was assessed via area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and calibration was assessed via calibration slope and expected-to-observed event ratio. External validation was performed using STS data sets from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH). Results: Models performed comparably with the highest mean AUC of 0.83 (RF) and expected-to-observed event ratio of 1.00. On external validation, the AUC was 0.81 in BWH (RF) and 0.79 in JHH (LogReg/RF). Models trained and applied on the same institution's data achieved AUCs of 0.81 (BWH: LogReg/RF/XGBoost) and 0.82 (JHH: LogReg/RF/XGBoost). Conclusions: Machine learning models trained on preoperative patient data can predict operative mortality at a high level of accuracy for cardiac surgical procedures without established risk scores. Such procedures comprise 23% of all cardiac surgical procedures nationwide. This work also highlights the value of using local institutional data to train new prediction models that account for institution-specific practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1459.e15
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • cardiac surgery
  • machine learning
  • operative mortality
  • risk prediction


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