Incorporating biological natural history in simulation models: Empirical estimates of the progression of end-stage liver disease

Oguzhan Alagoz, Cindy L. Bryce, Steven Shechter, Andrew Schaefer, Chung Chou H. Chang, Derek C. Angus, Mark S. Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To develop an empiric natural-history model that can predict quantitative changes in the laboratory values and clinical characteristics of patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD), to be used to calibrate an individual microsimulation model. Methods. The authors report the development of a stochastic model that uses cubic splines to interpolate between observed laboratory values over time in a cohort of 1997 patients with ESLD awaiting liver transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The splines were recursively sampled to provide a stochastic, quantitative natural history of each candidate's disease. Results. The model was able to simulate the types of erratic disease trajectories that occur in individual patients and was able to preserve the statistical properties of the natural history of ESLD in cohorts of real patients. Moreover, the model was able to predict pretransplant survival rates (87% at 1 year), which were statistically similar to rates observed in the authors' local cohort (92%). Conclusions. Cubic splines can be used to generate quantitative natural histories for individual patients with ESLD and may be useful for developing clinically robust microsimulation models of other diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-632
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Decision Making
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Liver disease
  • Microsimulation
  • Natural history
  • Spline function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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