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Proc AMIA Symp. 2002:572-6.

Comparing imperfect measurements with the Bland-Altman technique: application in gene expression analysis.

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Brigham & Women's Hospital, Decision Systems Group, Boston, MA, USA.


Several problems in medicine and biology involve the comparison of two measurements made on the same set of cases. The problem differs from a calibration problem because no gold standard can be identified. Testing the null hypothesis of no relationship using measures of association is not optimal since the measurements are made on the same cases, and therefore correlation coefficients will tend to be significant. The descriptive Bland-Altman method can be used in exploratory analysis of this problem, allowing the visualization of gross systematic differences between the two sets of measurements. We utilize the method on three sets of matched observations and demonstrate its usefulness in detecting systematic variations between two measurement technologies to assess gene expression.

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