Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2003 Oct;229(1):3-8.

Receiver operating characteristic curves and their use in radiology.

Author information

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology/Wb4, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Sensitivity and specificity are the basic measures of accuracy of a diagnostic test; however, they depend on the cut point used to define "positive" and "negative" test results. As the cut point shifts, sensitivity and specificity shift. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve is a plot of the sensitivity of a test versus its false-positive rate for all possible cut points. The advantages of the ROC curve as a means of defining the accuracy of a test, construction of the ROC, and identification of the optimal cut point on the ROC curve are discussed. Several summary measures of the accuracy of a test, including the commonly used percentage of correct diagnoses and area under the ROC curve, are described and compared. Two examples of ROC curve application in radiologic research are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center