Development of prediction model for alanine transaminase elevations during the first 6 months of conventional synthetic DMARD treatment

Laura Kuusalo*, Mikko S. Venäläinen, Heidi Kirjala, Sofia Saranpää, Laura L. Elo, Laura Pirilä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Frequent laboratory monitoring is recommended for early identification of toxicity when initiating conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs). We aimed at developing a risk prediction model to individualize laboratory testing at csDMARD initiation. We identified inflammatory joint disease patients (N = 1196) initiating a csDMARD in Turku University Hospital 2013–2019. Baseline and follow-up safety monitoring results were drawn from electronic health records. For rheumatoid arthritis patients, diagnoses and csDMARD initiation/cessation dates were manually confirmed. Primary endpoint was alanine transaminase (ALT) elevation of more than twice the upper limit of normal (ULN) within 6 months after treatment initiation. Computational models for predicting incident ALT elevations were developed using Lasso Cox proportional hazards regression with stable iterative variable selection (SIVS) and were internally validated against a randomly selected test cohort (1/3 of the data) that was not used for training the models. Primary endpoint was reached in 82 patients (6.9%). Among baseline variables, Lasso model with SIVS predicted subsequent ALT elevations of > 2 × ULN using higher ALT, csDMARD other than methotrexate or sulfasalazine and psoriatic arthritis diagnosis as important predictors, with a concordance index of 0.71 in the test cohort. Respectively, at first follow-up, in addition to baseline ALT and psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, also ALT change from baseline was identified as an important predictor resulting in a test concordance index of 0.72. Our computational model predicts ALT elevations after the first follow-up test with good accuracy and can help in optimizing individual testing frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12943
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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