Comparison of machine learning classification techniques to predict implantation success in an IVF treatment cycle

  • Pakize Yiğit
    Corresponding author.
    Department of Medical Statistics and Medical Informatics, Istanbul Medipol University, Faculty of Medicine Istanbul, Turkey
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  • Abdulbari Bener
    Department of Medical Statistics and Medical Informatics, Istanbul Medipol University, Faculty of Medicine Istanbul, Turkey

    Department of Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, The University of Manchester Manchester, UK
    Search for articles by this author
  • Seda Karabulut
    Department of Histology and Embryology, Medipol International School of Medicine, Istanbul Medipol University Istanbul, Turkey
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      • Nine different models were compared
      • Ensemble models have better prediction accuracy in this study.
      • Age, transfer day and oestradiol concentration are significant predictors of IVF implantation


      Research question

      Which machine learning model predicts the implantation outcome better in an IVF cycle? What is the importance of each variable in predicting the implantation outcome in an IVF cycle?


      Retrospective cohort study comprising 939 transferred embryos between 2014 and 2018 in an IVF centre in Turkey with 17 selected features. The algorithms were Logistic Regression (LR), Decision Tree (DT), Naïve Bayes (NB), Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Neural Network (Nnet), Gradient Boost Decision Tree (GBDT), eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) and Super Learner (SL). The results were evaluated with performance metrics (F1 score, specificity, accuracy and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC]) with 10-fold cross-validation repeated ten times.


      RF and SL models achieved the highest performance and showed F1 scores of 74% and 73%, specificity of 94%, an accuracy of 89%, and AUROC of 83%. In addition, the model identified the top features as maternal age, embryo transfer day, total gonadotrophin dose and oestradiol concentration.


      The present study revealed that machine learning algorithms successfully predicted implantation rates in an IVF attempt. In addition, maternal age is by far the most important predictor of IVF success when compared with other variables.


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      Pakize Yiğit graduated from Istanbul University with a Quantitative Methods PhD (2015) and Biostatistics PhD (2021). She has worked in the Department of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics at Medipol University School of Medicine in Turkey since 2015. Her main research interests are multivariate statistics, multi-criteria decision-making methodologies and statistical learning techniques.
      Key message
      Tree-based ensemble models (Random Forest and eXtreme Gradient Boosting) have better prediction accuracy compared with the other algorithms in this study. Maternal age is by far the most essential predictor of IVF success when comparing other studied variables. Transfer day, oestradiol concentration and total gonadotropin dose are other significant predictors of IVF implantation.