PLoS One. 2023 Aug 10;18(8):e0289774. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289774. eCollection 2023.
As clinical understanding of pediatric Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 (PASC) develops, and hence the clinical definition evolves, it is desirable to have a method to reliably identify patients who are likely to have post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 (PASC) in health systems data. In this study, we developed and validated a machine learning algorithm to classify which patients have PASC (distinguishing between Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and non-MIS-C variants) from a cohort of patients with positive SARS- CoV-2 test results in pediatric health systems within the PEDSnet EHR network. Patient features included in the model were selected from conditions, procedures, performance of diagnostic testing, and medications using a tree-based scan statistic approach. We used an XGboost model, with hyperparameters selected through cross-validated grid search, and model performance was assessed using 5-fold cross-validation. Model predictions and feature importance were evaluated using Shapley Additive exPlanation (SHAP) values. The model provides a tool for identifying patients with PASC and an approach to characterizing PASC using diagnosis, medication, laboratory, and procedure features in health systems data. Using appropriate threshold settings, the model can be used to identify PASC patients in health systems data at higher precision for inclusion in studies or at higher recall in screening for clinical trials, especially in settings where PASC diagnosis codes are used less frequently or less reliably. Analysis of how specific features contribute to the classification process may assist in gaining a better understanding of features that are associated with PASC diagnoses.