Complex clinical pathways of an autoimmune disease

Gergely Palla, Nóra Páll, Anna Horváth, Katalin Molnár, Bálint Tóth, Tamás Kováts, György Surján, T. Vicsek, Péter Pollner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Patients in a health-care system may visit several hospital wards during a therapy. A natural representation of the subsequent visits is given by a network between the wards, where the re-appearance of a previously recorded patient at a different hospital is treated as a flow between the institutions. Here we examine the pathways of patients diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, relapsing polychondritis, extracted from empirical data on 11 million anonymized patients recorded over a 13-year period. According to our results, the obtained network shows very interesting memory effects, and the flow of patients suffering from this disease cannot be treated as a first order Markov-process. This is likely to be related to the fact that relapsing polychondritis is accompanied by very complicated symptoms, and hence it can be diagnosed with large difficulty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Complex Networks
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Health care monitoring
  • Network medicine
  • Network of diseases
  • Networks with memory
  • Patient paths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Complex clinical pathways of an autoimmune disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Palla, G., Páll, N., Horváth, A., Molnár, K., Tóth, B., Kováts, T., Surján, G., Vicsek, T., & Pollner, P. (2018). Complex clinical pathways of an autoimmune disease. Journal of Complex Networks, 6(2), 206-214.