Bayesian estimation of the receiver operating ...



Title Bayesian estimation of the receiver operating characteristic curve for a diagnostic test with a limit of detection in the absence of a gold standard
Author(s) S. R. Jafarzadeh, W. O. Johnson, J. M. Utts, I. A. Gardner
Journal Statistics in Medicine
Date 2010
Volume 29
Issue 20
Start page 2090
End page 2106
Abstract The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve is commonly used for evaluating the discriminatory ability of a biomarker. Measurements for a diagnostic test may be subject to an analytic limit of detection leading to immeasurable or unreportable test results. Ignoring the scores that are beyond the limit of detection of a test leads to a biased assessment of its discriminatory ability, as reflected by indices such as the associated area under the curve (AUC). We propose a Bayesian approach for the estimation of the ROC curve and its AUC for a test with a limit of detection in the absence of gold standard based on assumptions of normally and gamma-distributed data. The methods are evaluated in simulation studies, and a truncated gamma model with a point mass is used to evaluate quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction data for bovine Johne's disease (paratuberculosis). Simulations indicated that estimates of diagnostic accuracy and AUC were good even for relatively small sample sizes (n=200). Exceptions were when there was a high per cent of unquantifiable results (60 per cent) or when AUC was ≤0.6, which indicated a marked overlap between the outcomes in infected and non-infected populations.
DOI 10.1002/sim.3975

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