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      Artificial neural networks in the recognition of the presence of thyroid disease in patients with atrophic body gastritis.

      World journal of gastroenterology : WJG

      Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Gastritis, Atrophic, pathology, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neural Networks (Computer), Predictive Value of Tests, Sensitivity and Specificity, Thyroid Diseases

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          To investigate the role of artificial neural networks in predicting the presence of thyroid disease in atrophic body gastritis patients. A dataset of 29 input variables of 253 atrophic body gastritis patients was applied to artificial neural networks (ANNs) using a data optimisation procedure (standard ANNs, T&T-IS protocol, TWIST protocol). The target variable was the presence of thyroid disease. Standard ANNs obtained a mean accuracy of 64.4% with a sensitivity of 69% and a specificity of 59.8% in recognizing atrophic body gastritis patients with thyroid disease. The optimization procedures (T&T-IS and TWIST protocol) improved the performance of the recognition task yielding a mean accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of 74.7% and 75.8%, 78.8% and 81.8%, and 70.5% and 69.9%, respectively. The increase of sensitivity of the TWIST protocol was statistically significant compared to T&T-IS. This study suggests that artificial neural networks may be taken into consideration as a potential clinical decision-support tool for identifying ABG patients at risk for harbouring an unknown thyroid disease and thus requiring diagnostic work-up of their thyroid status.

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