PLoS One. 2022 Aug 19;17(8):e0273383. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0273383. eCollection 2022.
Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) occurs worldwide and is a major source of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Researchers have developed many methods for predicting NEC diagnosis and prognosis. However, most people use statistical methods to select features, which may ignore the correlation between features. In addition, because they consider a small dimension of characteristics, they neglect some laboratory parameters such as white blood cell count, lymphocyte percentage, and mean platelet volume, which could be potentially influential factors affecting the diagnosis and prognosis of NEC. To address these issues, we include more perinatal, clinical, and laboratory information, including anemia-red blood cell transfusion and feeding strategies, and propose a ridge regression and Q-learning strategy based bee swarm optimization (RQBSO) metaheuristic algorithm for predicting NEC diagnosis and prognosis. Finally, a linear support vector machine (linear SVM), which specializes in classifying high-dimensional features, is used as a classifier. In the NEC diagnostic prediction experiment, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of dataset 1 (feeding intolerance + NEC) reaches 94.23%. In the NEC prognostic prediction experiment, the AUROC of dataset 2 (medical NEC + surgical NEC) reaches 91.88%. Additionally, the classification accuracy of the RQBSO algorithm on the NEC dataset is higher than the other feature selection algorithms. Thus, the proposed approach has the potential to identify predictors that contribute to the diagnosis of NEC and stratification of disease severity in a clinical setting.