The principles of rational selection of diagnostic tests in allergology

Aleksandra Gregorius, Radoslaw Spiewak

Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Source: Gregorius A, Spiewak R. Podstawy racjonalnego wyboru testow diagnostycznych w alergologii. Alergia Astma Immunologia 2013; 18 (4): 221-230. (In Polish)


Laboratory and in vivo test results greatly influence further diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, it is essential to select appropriate tests at early stages of the diagnostic process and keep in mind that each test can produce false positive and false negative results. The selection of an optimal test requires a thorough understanding of the terms describing the efficacy of a diagnostic test, such as sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, likelihood ratios for a positive and negative test. The present review reports definitions of the relevant terms, along with examples from the allergy practice.

Keywords: allergy, diagnostic test, efficacy, sensitivity, specificity, predictive value.

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Dermatologist and allergist in Krakow (Cracow), Poland


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Document created: 18 February 2014, last updated: 19 February 2014.