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Concept, Design & Programming
Dr. Adrian Man

   
 
Nr. 19(3)/2011
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Evaluation of Diagnostic Tests: Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves

Cristian Baicus, Adriana Hristea, Anda Baicus


Abstract:

Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves are used in order to assess the accuracy of diagnostic tests whose results are continuous numeric variables. This curve is a graph of the sensitivity (or true positive rate) on the Y-axis as a function of 1-specificity (the false positive rate) on the Y-axis. ROC curves have multiple utilizations: 1. The comparison of more tests for the same disease (bigger the area under the ROC curve (AUROC), better the test; an AUROC of 1 means a perfect test, while an AUROC of 0.5 means a useless test; 2. The choice of a cut-off point (in case of a test with a big AUROC, one can choose the closest point to the upper left corner of the graph, in order to have both a good sensitivity and a good specificity); 3. It shows how, for the same diagnostic test, there is a negotiation between sensitivity and specificity so that, for a cut-off with a very good sensitivity it will be a weak specificity and the reverse.

 
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How to cite
Baicus C, Hristea A, Baicus A. Evaluation of Diagnostic Tests: Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves. Rev Romana Med Lab. 2011;19(3):303-6