Chest radiography as a biomarker of ageing: artificial intelligence-based, multi-institutional model development and validation in Japan
Yasuhito Mitsuyama, Toshimasa Matsumoto, Hiroyuki Tatekawa, Shannon L Walston, Tatsuo Kimura, Akira Yamamoto, Toshio Watanabe, Yukio Miki, Daiju Ueda
Lancet Healthy Longev . 2023 Aug 16;S2666-7568(23)00133-2. doi: 10.1016/S2666-7568(23)00133-2. Online ahead of print.
Background: Chest radiographs are widely available and cost-effective; however, their usefulness as a biomarker of ageing using multi-institutional data remains underexplored. The aim of this study was to develop a biomarker of ageing from chest radiography and examine the correlation between the biomarker and diseases.
Methods: In this retrospective, multi-institutional study, we trained, tuned, and externally tested an artificial intelligence (AI) model to estimate the age of healthy individuals using chest radiographs as a biomarker. For the biomarker modelling phase of the study, we used healthy chest radiographs consecutively collected between May 22, 2008, and Dec 28, 2021, from three institutions in Japan. Data from two institutions were used for training, tuning, and internal testing, and data from the third institution were used for external testing. To evaluate the performance of the AI model in estimating ages, we calculated the correlation coefficient, mean square error, root mean square error, and mean absolute error. The correlation investigation phase of the study included chest radiographs from individuals with a known disease that were consecutively collected between Jan 1, 2018, and Dec 31, 2021, from an additional two institutions in Japan. We investigated the odds ratios (ORs) for various diseases given the difference between the AI-estimated age and chronological age (ie, the difference-age).
Findings: We included 101 296 chest radiographs from 70 248 participants across five institutions. In the biomarker modelling phase, the external test dataset from 3467 healthy participants included 8046 radiographs. Between the AI-estimated age and chronological age, the correlation coefficient was 0·95 (99% CI 0·95-0·95), the mean square error was 15·0 years (99% CI 14·0-15·0), the root mean square error was 3·8 years (99% CI 3·8-3·9), and the mean absolute error was 3·0 years (99% CI 3·0-3·1). In the correlation investigation phase, the external test datasets from 34 197 participants with a known disease included 34 197 radiographs. The ORs for difference-age were as follows: 1·04 (99% CI 1·04-1·05) for hypertension; 1·02 (1·01-1·03) for hyperuricaemia; 1·05 (1·03-1·06) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; 1·08 (1·06-1·09) for interstitial lung disease; 1·05 (1·03-1·06) for chronic renal failure; 1·04 (1·03-1·06) for atrial fibrillation; 1·03 (1·02-1·04) for osteoporosis; and 1·05 (1·03-1·06) for liver cirrhosis.
Interpretation: The AI-estimated age using chest radiographs showed a strong correlation with chronological age in the healthy cohorts. Furthermore, in cohorts of individuals with known diseases, the difference between estimated age and chronological age correlated with various chronic diseases. The use of this biomarker might pave the way for enhanced risk stratification methodologies, individualised therapeutic interventions, and innovative early diagnostic and preventive approaches towards age-associated pathologies.