I'm a bioinformatics guy working on a dataset related to the mesothelioma disease. In this dataset:

  • each row represents a patient record
  • each column represents a health feature

There are around 200 records of patients and 34 features. Unfortunately, the curators of this dataset did not provide details about the meaning of each row, so now I'm trying to understand them to have a better idea of what we are talking about.

These features-columns are:

ache on chest
alkaline phosphatise (ALP)
asbestos exposure
blood lactic dehydrogenise (LDH)
C-reactive protein (CRP)
cell count (WBC)
dead or not
diagnosis method
duration of asbestos exposure
duration of symptoms
habit of cigarette
hemoglobin (HGB)
keep side
performance status
platelet count (PLT)
pleural albumin
pleural effusion
pleural glucose
pleural lactic dehydrogenise
pleural level of acidity (pH)
pleural protein
pleural thickness on tomography
total protein
type of MM
white blood

Among all these features, my machine learning algorithm stated that the most important and significant one is keep side. I have no idea of what "keep side" means in a health context, can anyone help me?

What does "keep side" mean?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the keep side features has three possible values: 0, 1, 2.

  • It can mean the side of decease though unusual formulation for it.
    – Sofiko
    Sep 28, 2016 at 19:14
  • @Sofiko Thanks. And what does "side of decease" mean? Sep 28, 2016 at 22:00
  • "Keep side" means nothing in a health context. "Keep" is most likely a typo by the original authors. It is probably referring to right, left, or both sides. If you can pull the original fulltext it may give you a clue. Jan 29, 2017 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


This is excerpt of mesothelioma staging from the info booklet of American Cancer Society: http://m.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003119-pdf.pdf

"Mesothelioma is in the pleura lining the chest wall on one side of the chest. It may or may not also affect the pleura lining the diaphragm (the thin breathing muscle below the lungs) or the mediastinum (the space between the lungs). It may also have spread to the pleura covering the lung."

I can't find direct referral to usage examples of "keep side" in medical records. In case of 0,1,2 value one of them can be mediastinal (between lungs) location. Once again I logically came to this conclusion and can't claim it.

It will be still guess unless you contact to data providers or researchers of the study and ask them to specify.

  • Thanks. I tried to contact the authors but they did not reply Sep 29, 2016 at 13:43

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