Machine learning model for assessment of risk actors and postoperative day for superficial vs deep/organ-space surgical site infections

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan; Surgery


Background: Deep and organ space surgical site infections (SSI) require more intensive treatment, may result in more severe clinical disease and may have different risk factors when compared to superficial SSIs. Machine learning (ML) algorithms provide the opportunity to analyze multiple factors to predict of the type and time of development of SSI. Therefore, we developed a ML model to predict type and postoperative week of SSI.
Methodology: A case-control study was conducted among patients who developed a SSI after undergoing general surgery procedures at a tertiary care hospital between 2019 to 2020. Patients were followed for 30 days. Six ML algorithms were trained as predictors of type of infection (superficial vs deep/organ space) and time of infection, and tested using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC).
Results: Data for 113 patients with SSIs was available. Of these 62 (54.8%) had superficial and 51 had (45.2%) deep/organ space infections. Compared with other ML algorithms, the XG boost univariate model had highest AUC-ROC (.84) for prediction of type of SSI and Stochastic gradient boosting univariate, logistic regression univariate, XG boost univariate, and random forest classification univariate model had the highest AUC-ROC (.74) for prediction of week of infection.
Conclusions: ML models offer reasonable accuracy in prediction of superficial vs deep SSI and time of developing infection. Follow-up duration and allocation of treatment strategies can be informed by ML predictions.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Surgical Innovation