In modern medicine, sophisticated laboratory tests and imaging studies are often emphasized at the expense of history and physical examination, rather than complementing clinical assessment.
Ancillary testing often fails to advance the diagnostic process, and increases patient risk and the expense of medical care.
The relative value of clinical evaluation and technological methods is rarely considered, and the power of the clinical evaluation is therefore underestimated.
The likelihood ratio (LR) is a semiquantitative measure of the performance of diagnostic tests which indicates how much a diagnostic procedure modifies the probability of disease, and is calculated from the sensitivity and specificity of the test (or directly from the change in probability associated with the test result).
We review the performance of frequently-used tests by their LRs, and compare them to the power of clinical assessment, with clinical cases to illustrate the application of LRs in the diagnostic process.
The discriminative power of clinical assessment and ancillary tests is often similar, and the combination of the two greatly increases accuracy in the diagnostic process.
Clinical assessment is indeed frequently more informative than current technical modalities.
LRs assist in putting the value of testing in proper perspective.
Practice in evaluating pre-test probabilities of disease and in the application of LRs should be enhanced in medical training.
Mots-clés Pascal : Rapport vraisemblance, Médecine, Evaluation, Exploration clinique, Diagnostic, Etude comparative, Facteur efficacité, Application médicale, Perspective, Homme, Article synthèse, Organisation santé
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Likelihood ratio, Medicine, Evaluation, Clinical investigation, Diagnosis, Comparative study, Effectiveness factor, Medical application, Perspective, Human, Review, Public health organization
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0217695
Code Inist : 002B30A01C. Création : 11/09/1998.