DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18080 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18080: Pediatric Sex Detection Through AI-Enabled ECG Analysis: Evaluating Accuracy and the Influence of Pubertal Development

Donnchadh O'Sullivan, Scott Anjewierden, Grace Greason, Zachi Attia, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Paul Friedman, Peter A Noseworthy, Jason Anderson, Anthony H Kashou, Benjamin W Eidem, Jonathan N Johnson, Talha Niaz, Malini Madhavan
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Biologic sex and hormonal concentrations shape ECG parameters due to sex hormone effects on cardiac function. AI-enabled ECGs have previously been shown to accurately predict patient sex in adults and correlate with sex hormone levels.

Aims: We aimed to test the ability of AI-enabled ECGs to predict pediatric patient sex and explore the influence of pubertal development.

Methods: Two AI-enabled ECG models were created using a convolutional neural network trained on pediatric 10-second, 12-lead surface ECGs. The first model was trained de novo using pediatric data. The second model used transfer learning from a previously validated adult data-derived algorithm. We analyzed the first ECG from 89,063 pediatric patients (aged <19 years) recorded from 1988-2022, and divided the cohort into training, validation, and testing datasets. Subgroup analysis was performed on prepubertal (0-7 years), pubertal (8-14 years), and post-pubertal (15-18 years) patients.

Results: The cohort consisted of 46.6% males, with 21,434 prepubertal, 26,300 pubertal, and 41,329 post-pubertal children. No significant performance difference was observed between the two models. Both models demonstrated 81% accuracy and an overall AUC of 0.91 in the testing cohorts, with high discriminatory ability in post-pubertal teenagers (AUC = 0.98). (Figure 1)

Conclusions: AI-ECG predicts pediatric patient sex with varying performance across pubertal stages. The highest discriminatory ability is observed post-puberty, decreasing in pubertal and prepubertal children. The results suggest hormonal and physiological changes during puberty may influence cardiac electrophysiology measurably. More research is required to interpret CNN-predicted sex discordance with actual sex and its implications for future cardiovascular risk.

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