Lasso regularization for left-censored Gaussian outcome and high-dimensional predictors

Perrine Soret, Marta Avalos, Linda Wittkop, Daniel Commenges, Rodolphe Thiébaut
2018 BMC Medical Research Methodology  
Biological assays for the quantification of markers may suffer from a lack of sensitivity and thus from an analytical detection limit. This is the case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load. Below this threshold the exact value is unknown and values are consequently left-censored. Statistical methods have been proposed to deal with left-censoring but few are adapted in the context of high-dimensional data. Methods: We propose to reverse the Buckley-James least squares algorithm to
more » ... dle left-censored data enhanced with a Lasso regularization to accommodate high-dimensional predictors. We present a Lasso-regularized Buckley-James least squares method with both non-parametric imputation using Kaplan-Meier and parametric imputation based on the Gaussian distribution, which is typically assumed for HIV viral load data after logarithmic transformation. Cross-validation for parameter-tuning is based on an appropriate loss function that takes into account the different contributions of censored and uncensored observations. We specify how these techniques can be easily implemented using available R packages. The Lasso-regularized Buckley-James least square method was compared to simple imputation strategies to predict the response to antiretroviral therapy measured by HIV viral load according to the HIV genotypic mutations. We used a dataset composed of several clinical trials and cohorts from the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research (HIV Med. 2008;7:27-40). The proposed methods were also assessed on simulated data mimicking the observed data. Results: Approaches accounting for left-censoring outperformed simple imputation methods in a high-dimensional setting. The Gaussian Buckley-James method with cross-validation based on the appropriate loss function showed the lowest prediction error on simulated data and, using real data, the most valid results according to the current literature on HIV mutations. Conclusions: The proposed approach deals with high-dimensional predictors and left-censored outcomes and has shown its interest for predicting HIV viral load according to HIV mutations.
doi:10.1186/s12874-018-0609-4 fatcat:34hcenbs4fcfffvupeap3ew2xe