Machine Learning Approach for Predicting Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Oman-based Cohort

Al Hassan AlShareedah, Hamza Zidoum, Sumaya Al-Sawafi, Batool Al-Lawati, Aliya Al-Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to design a machine learning-based prediction framework to predict the presence or absence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a cohort of Omani patients. Methods: Data of 219 patients from 2006 to 2019 were extracted from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital’s electronic records. Among these, 138 patients had SLE, while the remaining 81 had other rheumatologic diseases. Clinical and demographic features were analysed to focus on the early stages of the disease. Recursive feature selection was implemented to choose the most informative features. The CatBoost classification algorithm was utilised to predict SLE, and the SHAP explainer algorithm was applied on top of the CatBoost model to provide individual prediction reasoning, which was then validated by rheumatologists. Results: CatBoost achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve score of 0.95 and a sensitivity of 92%. The SHAP algorithm identified four clinical features (alopecia, renal disorders, acute cutaneous lupus and haemolytic anaemia) and the patient’s age as having the greatest contribution to the prediction. Conclusion: An explainable framework to predict SLE in patients and provide reasoning for its prediction was designed and validated. This framework enables clinicians to implement early interventions that will lead to positive healthcare outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 28 2023


  • Clinical Decision Support System
  • Data Analysis
  • Interpretation
  • Oman
  • Statistical Data
  • Supervised Machine Learning
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/diagnosis
  • Alopecia
  • Humans
  • ROC Curve
  • Machine Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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