ROC Curves: Assessment of Clinical Test Accuracy

  • Mark H. Zweig


The number and complexity of measurements or indicators of the clinical performance of laboratory tests have increased considerably in recent years. So many different quantities, terms and plots have been suggested that even persons interested in and familiar with the issues find the array confusing. This need not be the case. By defining the fundamental issues and then making logical distinctions, we can identify order in this field. When I first began thinking about test performance and usefulness, I failed to appreciate a simple but important distinction which I now recognize and wish to promote. This is the distinction between accuracy and efficacy. Failure to maintain this simple distinction clouds the fundamental issues, contributes to the complex terms and quantities we are now burdened with, and obscures the source of problems with use of the test.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrum Radar System Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Pollen Count Positive Ratio 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark H. Zweig
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Pathology Department, Clinical CenterNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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