Left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) is a key measure in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure (HF) and many patients experience changes in EF overtime. Large-scale analysis of longitudinal changes in EF using electronic health records (EHRs) is limited. In a multi-site retrospective study using EHR data from three academic medical centers, we investigated longitudinal changes in EF measurements in patients diagnosed with HF. We observed significant variations in baseline characteristics and longitudinal EF change behavior of the HF cohorts from a previous study that is based on HF registry data. Data gathered from this longitudinal study were used to develop multiple machine learning models to predict changes in ejection fraction measurements in HF patients. Across all three sites, we observed higher performance in predicting EF increase over a 1-year duration, with similarly higher performance predicting an EF increase of 30% from baseline compared to lower percentage increases. In predicting EF decrease we found moderate to high performance with low confidence for various models. Among various machine learning models, XGBoost was the best performing model for predicting EF changes. Across the three sites, the XGBoost model had an F1-score of 87.2, 89.9, and 88.6 and AUC of 0.83, 0.87, and 0.90 in predicting a 30% increase in EF, and had an F1-score of 95.0, 90.6, 90.1 and AUC of 0.54, 0.56, 0.68 in predicting a 30% decrease in EF. Among features that contribute to predicting EF changes, baseline ejection fraction measurement, age, gender, and heart diseases were found to be statistically significant.
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