Contribution of artificial neural networks to the classification and treatment of patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia

Angelo Andriulli, E. Grossi, M. Buscema, V. Festa, N. M. Intraligi, P. Dominici, R. Cerutti, F. Perri, S. Lupo, N. Casu, B. Chessa, G. Pomarico, G. Assenza, D. Iannuziello, G. Fuggi, P. Castagnoli, G. Dante, S. Bellentani, L. Vitale, U. BigazziG. Giudici, G. Minoli, T. Luisi, R. Marin, V. Di Ciommo, F. Montanaro, B. Gaetano, S. Rosati, A. Maurano, F. Pietropaolo, V. Dambruoso, L. Tomarelli, R. Curto, C. Di Franco, L. Barresi, L. Marzio, R. Grossi, G. Sbolli, R. Marmo, R. Suriani, L. Mazzucca, L. D'Anna, A. Grassi, S. Monaco, G. Scarpulla, R. Clemente, M. Quitadamo, A. Carrato, S. Ghione, D. Cassine, A. Longhini, P. Borelli, C. Cortelezzi, A. Spadaccini, F. Biandrate, N. Belluardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To verify whether symptoms reported by patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia might be helpful in either classifying functional from organic dyspepsia (1st experiment), or recognising which Helicobacter pylori infected patients may benefit from eradication therapy (2nd experiment). Methods. We compared the performance of artificial neural networks and linear discriminant analysis in two experiments on a database including socio-demographic features, past medical history, alarming symptoms, and symptoms at presentation of 860 patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia enrolled in a large observational multi-centre Italian study. Results. In the 1st experiment, the best prediction for organic disease was given by the Sine Net model (specificity of 87.6% with 13 patients misclassified) and the best prediction for functional dyspepsia by the FF Bp model (sensitivity of 83.4% with 56 patients misclassified). The highest global accuracy of linear discriminant analysis was 65.1%, with 150 patients misclassified. In the 2nd experiment, the highest predictive performance was provided by the SelfDASn model: all infected patients who became symptom-free after successful eradicating treatment were correctly classified, whereas nine errors were made in forecasting patients who did not benefit from such a therapy. The highest global performance of linear discriminant analysis was 53.2%, with 37 patients misclassified. Conclusions. In patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia, artificial neural networks might have potential for categorising those affected by either organic or functional dyspepsia, as well as for identifying all Helicobacter pylori infected dyspeptic patients who will benefit from eradication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-231
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


  • Artificial neural networks
  • Dyspepsia
  • Helicobacter pylori

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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