Diagnostic Testing

  • Bryan Kestenbaum

Learning Objectives

  1. 1.

    Clinical testing may be used for screening, diagnosis, and prognosis.

  2. 2.
    The following elements should be considered when ordering a diagnostic test:
    1. (a)

      Validity and repeatability characteristics of the test

    2. (b)

      Safety of the test

    3. (c)

      Pre-test probability of the disease

    4. (d)

      The natural history or seriousness of the disease without treatment

    5. (f)

      The benefits and risks of treatment

    6. (g)

      Patient preferences and costs

  3. 3.

    Diagnostic testing is most useful when the pre-test probability of disease is intermediate.

  4. 4.

    Likelihood ratios combine sensitivity and specificity characteristics for a specific test.



Breast Cancer Likelihood Ratio Clostridium Difficile Negative Likelihood Ratio Positive Likelihood Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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