Breast imaging: Understanding how accuracy is measured when lesions are the unit of analysis Journal Article


Authors: Moskowitz, C. S.; Zabor, E. C.; Jochelson, M.
Article Title: Breast imaging: Understanding how accuracy is measured when lesions are the unit of analysis
Abstract: Medical imaging tests of breast cancer patients can be used to detect and provide information on the location of multiple malignant lesions within a patient. Within this context, it is often the case that one needs to evaluate the accuracy of an imaging test for finding the multiple lesions in a patient rather than simply detecting that a patient has disease. A natural way to approach this task is to estimate the accuracy of the test using a lesion-level analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are analytic measures that are frequently used to quantify the accuracy of medical tests. When the test or radiologist must first locate the lesions, however, it is not possible to directly estimate the specificity or an ROC curve keeping the individual lesions as the unit of analysis. The goal of this study is to demonstrate to clinicians conducting or reviewing studies evaluating breast imaging tests what measures of accuracy can and cannot be calculated in different types of studies and to describe in detail the difficulty with calculating specificity and ROC curves in a lesion-level analysis. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: data analysis; diagnostic test; specificity; breast radiography; lesion localization; multiple abnormalities
Journal Title: Breast Journal
Volume: 18
Issue: 6
ISSN: 1075-122X
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell  
Date Published: 2012-11-01
Start Page: 557
End Page: 563
Language: English
DOI: 10.1111/tbj.12009
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 23016565
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Export Date: 3 December 2012" - "CODEN: BRJOF" - "Source: Scopus"
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MSK Authors
  1. Chaya S. Moskowitz
    173 Moskowitz
  2. Emily Craig Zabor
    131 Zabor