December 17, 2018 / Original Source
Intracranial aneurysms (IAs) are dangerous because of their potential to rupture and cause deadly subarachnoid hemorrhages. Previously, we found significant RNA expression differences in circulating neutrophils between patients with unruptured IAs and aneurysm-free controls. Searching for circulating biomarkers for unruptured IAs, we tested the feasibility of developing classification algorithms that use neutrophil RNA expression levels from blood samples to predict the presence of an IA.
Neutrophil RNA extracted from blood samples from 40 patients (20 with angiography-confirmed unruptured IA, 20 angiography-confirmed IA-free controls) was subjected to next-generation RNA sequencing to obtain neutrophil transcriptomes. In a randomly-selected training cohort of 30 of the 40 samples (15 with IA, 15 controls), we performed differential expression analysis. Significantly differentially expressed transcripts (false discovery rate < 0.05, fold change ≥ 1.5) were used to construct prediction models for IA using four well-known supervised machine-learning approaches (diagonal linear discriminant analysis, cosine nearest neighbors, nearest shrunken centroids, and support vector machines). These models were tested in a testing cohort of the remaining 10 neutrophil samples from the 40 patients (5 with IA, 5 controls), and model performance was assessed by receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curves. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to corroborate expression differences of a subset of model transcripts in neutrophil samples from a new, separate validation cohort of 10 patients (5 with IA, 5 controls).
The training cohort yielded 26 highly significantly differentially expressed neutrophil transcripts. Models using these transcripts identified IA patients in the testing cohort with accuracy ranging from 0.60 to 0.90. The best performing model was the diagonal linear discriminant analysis classifier (area under the ROC curve = 0.80 and accuracy = 0.90). Six of seven differentially expressed genes we tested were confirmed by quantitative PCR using isolated neutrophils from the separate validation cohort.
Our findings demonstrate the potential of machine-learning methods to classify IA cases and create predictive models for unruptured IAs using circulating neutrophil transcriptome data. Future studies are needed to replicate these findings in larger cohorts.
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Biomarkers from circulating neutrophil transcriptomes have potential to detect unruptured intracranial aneurysms
Vincent M. Tutino, Kerry E. Poppenberg, Lu Li, Hussain Shallwani, Kaiyu Jiang, James N. Jarvis, Yijun Sun, Kenneth V. Snyder, Elad I. Levy, Adnan H. Siddiqui, John Kolega and Hui Meng. Journal of Translational Medicine 16(373). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-018-1749-3