XPHEMO: a rule-based expert system for
laboratory diagnosis of hemoglobin disorders
Andy Nguyen,M.D./ UT-Medical School at Houston, Pathology/
Last Revision on: 11/4/98
system illustrates the utility of a rule-based expert
system to diagnose hemoglobin disorders. Laboratory data
(i.e., results of hemoglobin electrophoresis,
quantitative measurements of hemoglobin F and hemoglobin
A2 levels, and result of a sickle cell screen) are
processed by the system using defined rules to obtain a
set of differential diagnoses. Additional data such as
hematologic parameters, ethnicity of the patient, and the
presence or absence of certain clinical signs and
symptoms aid in making a final diagnosis. The rules in
the current version of this expert system include 111
diagnostic criteria for 71 hemoglobin disorders. We
tested the system by using 58 survey sample cases offered
by the College of American Pathologists during the period
of January 1989 through December 1994. The expert system
included the actual diagnosis as one of the top four
differential diagnoses in 90% of the cases, whereas all
the laboratories participating in the survey included it
in 84% (mean) of the cases. We propose that this
user-friendly expert system is a potential tool for
computer-assisted diagnosis of hemoglobin disorders.
- Development platforms:
The inference engine of XPHEMO was implemented with the XP shell.
The graphic user interface of XPHEMO was designed with Microsoft
Visual Basic (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Washington).
Before beginning this project, we developed a version of our expert system shell, XP (for eXPert), for
general applications. This shell was written in Microsoft Visual C++ language and was run on a Microsoft Windows 3.1 platform on an
IBM-compatible computer. This shell has also been ported to other software platforms,
including Borland C++ (Borland, Santa Cruz, California) and ANSI C, and other operating
systems, including UNIX and Microsoft DOS. The XP shell is rule-based, and its inference
engine uses a backward-chaining search strategy to draw conclusions.
Nguyen, A.N.D., Hartwell, E., Milam, J.: A Rule-Based Expert
System For Laboratory Diagnosis of Hemoglobin Disorders.
Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 1996; 120:817-827