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Part 5: Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve and Area under the Curve

Saeed Safari, Alireza Baratloo, Mohamed Elfil, Ahmed Negida



Multiple diagnostic tools are used by emergency physicians,
every day. In addition, new tools are evaluated to obtain
more accurate methods and reduce time or cost of conventional
ones. In the previous parts of this educational
series, we described diagnostic performance characteristics
of diagnostic tests including sensitivity, specificity, positive
and negative predictive values, and likelihood ratios. The
receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve is a graphical
presentation of screening characteristics. ROC curve is used
to determine the best cutoff point and compare two or more
tests or observers by measuring the area under the curve
(AUC). In this part of our educational series, we explain ROC
curve and two methods to determine the best cutoff value.


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Akobeng AK. Understanding diagnostic tests 3: receiver operating characteristic curves. Acta Paediatr. 2007;96(5):644–7.

Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III Score com- pared to Trauma-Injury Severity Score (TRISS) in Predicting Mortality of Trauma Patients. 2015;3:1–4.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/emergency.v4i2.11903


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