Dr Rajiv Kumar jain

Clinicians who order common diagnostic chest x-rays for patients have been sitting on a goldmine of unused prognostic information. The radiographs, used since the 19th century to detect specific abnormalities, could soon be repurposed to identify long-term mortality risk — with a little help from machine learning.

Using data from two large randomized trials, researchers have developed a convolutional neural network, called CXR-risk, that stratifies participants by all-cause mortality risk. They trained the artificial intelligence (AI) system with 85,000 x-rays and follow-up data from more than 40,000 individuals. Extracting information from single chest radiographs, the system found a graded association between risk score and mortality.

"Based on the chest x-ray image alone, AI identified people at up to a 53% risk of death over 12 years," lead author Michael T. Lu, MD, MPH, of the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, told Medscape Medical News. Deaths were most often due to heart disease and lung cancer.

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