Machine Learning Applications in Endocrinology and Metabolism Research: An Overview.
ABSTRACT: Machine learning (ML) applications have received extensive attention in endocrinology research during the last decade. This review summarizes the basic concepts of ML and certain research topics in endocrinology and metabolism where ML principles have been actively deployed. Relevant studies are discussed to provide an overview of the methodology, main findings, and limitations of ML, with the goal of stimulating insights into future research directions. Clear, testable study hypotheses stem from unmet clinical needs, and the management of data quality (beyond a focus on quantity alone), open collaboration between clinical experts and ML engineers, the development of interpretable high-performance ML models beyond the black-box nature of some algorithms, and a creative environment are the core prerequisites for the foreseeable changes expected to be brought about by ML and artificial intelligence in the field of endocrinology and metabolism, with actual improvements in clinical practice beyond hype. Of note, endocrinologists will continue to play a central role in these developments as domain experts who can properly generate, refine, analyze, and interpret data with a combination of clinical expertise and scientific rigor.
Project description:The American Diabetes Association, JDRF, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists convened a research symposium, "The Differentiation of Diabetes by Pathophysiology, Natural History and Prognosis" on 10-12 October 2015. International experts in genetics, immunology, metabolism, endocrinology, and systems biology discussed genetic and environmental determinants of type 1 and type 2 diabetes risk and progression, as well as complications. The participants debated how to determine appropriate therapeutic approaches based on disease pathophysiology and stage and defined remaining research gaps hindering a personalized medical approach for diabetes to drive the field to address these gaps. The authors recommend a structure for data stratification to define the phenotypes and genotypes of subtypes of diabetes that will facilitate individualized treatment.
Project description:Objective To assess the current management of prolactinoma among endocrinologists in China. Methods An online survey of a large sample of endocrinologists was conducted in China. The questionnaire included 21 questions related to controversial issues about the management of prolactinomas. Doctors in the endocrinology department of a university-affiliated hospital or a comprehensive secondary hospital in 12 cities from East, West, South, North and Middle China were surveyed. Results A total of 290 valid questionnaires were collected, and the response rate was 40%. When hyperprolactinemia occurred, 97% of the respondents would test thyroid-stimulating hormone routinely. 22% of the respondents considered that prolactin levels <100 ng/mL exclude the presence of a prolactinoma. Only 9% of the respondents believed that prolactin >250 ng/mL could occur in all the following situations as macroprolactinoma, mircoprolactinoma, macroprolactinemia and drug-induced hyperprolactinemia. Surgery was not recommended by 272 (94%) endocrinologists as the first choice for treating microprolactinomas. 58% and 92% of endocrinologists would start drug treatment for microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas at diagnosis. 70% and 40% chose to withdraw treatment after 2-3 years of prolactin normalization in microprolactinomas and macroprolactinomas. In case of pregnancy, 57% of the respondents considered bromocriptine as choice for women patients. Drug discontinuation after pregnancy was advocated in 63% and 27% for microprolactinoma and macroprolactinoma. Moreover, 44% of endocrinologists believed that breastfeeding was allowable in both micro- and macroprolactinoma. Conclusion This is the first study to investigate the management of prolactinomas among endocrinologists in China. We found that the current clinical treatment was not uniform. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the training of endocrinologists to improve clinical diagnosis and treatment practices.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) is a set of 14 domains of behavior change that provide a framework for the critical issues and factors influencing optimal knowledge translation. Considering that a previous study has identified optimal knowledge translation techniques for each TDF domain, it was hypothesized that the TDF could be used to contextualize and interpret findings from a behavioral and educational needs assessment. To illustrate this hypothesis, findings and recommendations drawn from a 2012 national behavioral and educational needs assessment conducted with healthcare providers who treat and manage Growth and Growth Hormone Disorders, will be discussed using the TDF. METHODS: This needs assessment utilized a mixed-methods research approach that included a combination of: [a] data sources (Endocrinologists (n:120), Pediatric Endocrinologists (n:53), Pediatricians (n:52)), [b] data collection methods (focus groups, interviews, online survey), [c] analysis methodologies (qualitative - analyzed through thematic analysis, quantitative - analyzed using frequencies, cross-tabulations, and gap analysis). Triangulation was used to generate trustworthy findings on the clinical practice gaps of endocrinologists, pediatric endocrinologists, and general pediatricians in their provision of care to adult patients with adult growth hormone deficiency or acromegaly, or children/teenagers with pediatric growth disorders. The identified gaps were then broken into key underlying determinants, categorized according to the TDF domains, and linked to optimal behavioral change techniques. RESULTS: The needs assessment identified 13 gaps, each with one or more underlying determinant(s). Overall, these determinants were mapped to 9 of the 14 TDF domains. The Beliefs about Consequences domain was identified as a contributing determinant to 7 of the 13 challenges. Five of the gaps could be related to the Skills domain, while three were linked to the Knowledge domain. CONCLUSIONS: The TDF categorization of the needs assessment findings allowed recommendation of appropriate behavior change techniques for each underlying determinant, and facilitated communication and understanding of the identified issues to a broader audience. This approach provides a means for health education researchers to categorize gaps and challenges identified through educational needs assessments, and facilitates the application of these findings by educators and knowledge translators, by linking the gaps to recommended behavioral change techniques.
Project description:Background:The transgender (trans) population is one of the most underserved in health care. Not only do they face discrimination and stigma from society as a whole, they also have difficulty accessing transition-related care, leading to adverse outcomes such as suicide. We aimed to increase understanding on how our current postgraduate education system contributes to a lack of care for trans patients. Methods:Our study consisted of 11 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2016 with residents in the following specialties: family medicine (3), endocrinology (3), psychiatry (3), and urology (2). We used Framework Analysis to qualitatively analyze our data. Results:Residents described a lack of trans care education in the core curriculum, in part due to a lack of exposure to experts in this area. They also expressed discomfort when dealing with trans patients, due to inexperience and lack of knowledge. Furthermore, residents in each specialty had false assumptions that other specialties had sufficient knowledge and expertise in trans care. Discussion:This study highlights how the lack of teaching and clinical experiences with trans patients during residency contributes to the poor access to healthcare. By systematically embedding trans care in the curriculum, medical education can play a prominent role in addressing the healthcare disparities of this underserved population.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To identify and define clinically meaningful type 1 diabetes outcomes beyond hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) based upon a review of the evidence, consensus from clinical experts, and input from researchers, people with type 1 diabetes, and industry. Priority outcomes include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, time in range, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). While priority outcomes for type 1 and type 2 diabetes may overlap, type 1 diabetes was the focus of this work. RESEARCH AND METHODS:A Steering Committee-comprising representatives from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Diabetes Association, the Endocrine Society, JDRF International, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the T1D Exchange-was the decision-making body for the Type 1 Diabetes Outcomes Program. Their work was informed by input from researchers, industry, and people with diabetes through Advisory Committees representing each stakeholder group. Stakeholder surveys were used to identify priority outcomes. The outcomes prioritized in the surveys were hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, time in range, DKA, and PROs. To develop consensus on the definitions of these outcomes, the Steering Committee relied on published evidence, their clinical expertise, and feedback from the Advisory Committees. RESULTS:The Steering Committee developed definitions for hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, time in range, and DKA in type 1 diabetes. The definitions reflect their assessment of the outcome's short- and long-term clinical impact on people with type 1 diabetes. Knowledge gaps to be addressed by future research were identified. The Steering Committee discussed PROs and concluded that further type 1 diabetes-specific development is needed. CONCLUSIONS:The Steering Committee recommends use of the defined clinically meaningful outcomes beyond HbA1c in the research, development, and evaluation of type 1 diabetes therapies.
Project description:Introduction:Pediatrics is an exciting field because it requires having a background in physiology that evolves as the patient ages. As a subspecialty, pediatric endocrinology encompasses a wide range of disease processes both acute and chronic. This module was created to provide a review of endocrine physiology, promote understanding of the biopsychosocial model of children diagnosed with an endocrine disorder, and utilize simulated case studies to become familiar with patient management. Methods:The material and case studies presented are based on firsthand experiences in a pediatric clinic and diabetes camp, as well as an extensive literature review. The information in this resource teaches interview questions and problem-solving techniques and ensures that the learner understands the basic equipment used by the patients. Implementation of this module will advance students' and residents' efficacy in caring for this pediatric population. The approximate time to complete this module is 3 to 5 hours. To evaluate the effectiveness of this module, pre- and postmodule surveys were administered to medical students. Factors analyzed included overall user satisfaction, utility of the module, comfort in approaching pediatric endocrine patients, and suggestions for improvement. Results:A cohort of medical students (N = 26) completed both surveys and the module, with an equal distribution of first- and second-year students to third- and fourth-year students. The surveys showed a general trend of improvement in self-reported comfort with both basic science and clinical skills components. Discussion:This module would be most beneficial to a medical student who may rotate with a pediatric endocrinologist during the clinical years. The target audience can be broadened to include not only medical students but also physician assistant students, nursing/nurse practitioner students, pediatric residents, and pediatric endocrinology fellows.
Project description:The heart plays a central role in the circulatory system and provides essential oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors to the whole organism. The heart can synthesize and secrete endocrine signals to communicate with distant target organs. Studies of long-known and recently discovered heart-derived hormones highlight a shared theme and reveal a unified mechanism of heart-derived hormones in coordinating cardiac function and target organ biology. This paper reviews the biochemistry, signaling, function, regulation, and clinical significance of representative heart-derived hormones, with a focus on the cardiovascular system. This review also discusses important and exciting questions that will advance the field of cardiac endocrinology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Trustworthy (i.e. low risk of bias) randomized clinical trials (RCTs) play an important role in evidence-based decision making. We aimed to systematically assess the risk of bias of trials published in high-impact endocrinology journals. METHODS:We searched the MEDLINE/PubMed database between 2014 and 2016 for phase 2-4 RCTs evaluating endocrine-related therapies. Reviewers working independently and in duplicate used the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool (CCRBT) to determine the extent to which the methods reported protected the results of each RCT from bias. RESULTS:We assessed 292 eligible RCTs, of which 40% (116) were judged to be at low risk, 43% (126) at moderate, and 17% (50) at high risk of bias. Blinding of outcome assessment was the least common domain reported 43% (125), while selective reporting of outcomes was the most common 97% (282). In multivariable analysis, RCTs with a parallel design (OR 2.4; 95% CI; 1.2-4.6) and funded by for-profit sources (OR 2.2; 95% CI; 1.3-3.6) were more likely to be at low risk of bias. CONCLUSIONS:Trustworthy evidence should ultimately shape care to improve the likelihood of desirable patient outcomes. Six out-of 10 RCTs published in top endocrine journals are at moderate/high-risk of bias. Improving this should be a priority in endocrine research.
Project description:The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies likely represent the greatest advance in lipid management in 30 years. In 2015 the US Food and Drug Administration approved both alirocumab and evolocumab for high-risk patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease requiring additional lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Though many lipid specialists, cardiovascular disease prevention experts, endocrinologists, and others prescribed the drugs on label, they found their directives denied 80% to 90% of the time. The high frequency of denials prompted the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC), to gather multiple stakeholder organizations including the American College of Cardiology, National Lipid Association, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and FH Foundation for 2 town hall meetings to identify access issues and implement viable solutions. This article reviews findings recognized and solutions suggested by experts during these discussions. The article is a product of the ASPC, along with each author writing as an individual and endorsed by the AACE.
Project description:Introduction:In clinical practice, ethical dilemmas are frequently faced by pediatric endocrinologists. This initiative's objectives were to (a) determine if endocrine fellows and faculty perceived that an effective ethics curriculum existed and (b) evaluate whether case-based modules would be an effective tool for ethics education. Methods:Participation was sought from eight large pediatric endocrine programs (home programs and affiliates of the Pediatric Endocrine Society's Ethics Committee members) after the distribution of eight case-based modules (geared mainly to fellows) and pre- and postsurveys. Questions examining self-reported knowledge (K) of the ethical pillars (beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice), attitudes (A) towards these, and the individual's likelihood of utilizing them in clinical practice (P), in addition to the need for/benefit of this curriculum, were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale. Results:Six out of eight programs participated, with surveys completed by fellows (n = 29), faculty (n = 7), and advanced practitioners (n = 3). Of the respondents, only 20.3% believed an effective ethics curriculum was already in place. After module completion, KAP scores improved, with the greatest improvement seen in knowledge scores. Additionally, 94.9% of respondents strongly agreed (n = 26) or agreed (n = 11) that the curriculum would be a valuable addition to fellowship training. All faculty believed that the curriculum was helpful in imparting ethical principles of clinical practice. Discussion:The findings suggest that this curriculum would be useful in knowledge advancement of ethical principles and could fulfill a long-standing need to provide clinical ethics education for faculty and fellows.