A number of factors must be considered in the evaluation of new methods of investigation including (a) diagnostic value, (b) therapeutic consequence, (c) discomfort and risk to the patient, and (d) economic cost. This chapter deals with the evaluation of a diagnostic test in connection with the detection or exclusion of anatomically defined diseases with an accessible diagnostic criterion (e.g., malignant tumors). In such cases the diagnostic specificity may be calculated (i.e., the probability that a patient has the disease provided the test is positive P(d | t) ) and the diagnostic sensitivity may also be calculated (i.e., the probability that a patient does not have the disease provided the test is negative P(d̅ | t̅) ).
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