Bias associated with delayed verification in test accuracy studies: accuracy of tests for endometrial hyperplasia may be much higher than we think!

Thomas Clark, Gerben ter Riet, Arri Coomarasamy, Khalid Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: To empirically evaluate bias in estimation of accuracy associated with delay in verification of diagnosis among studies evaluating tests for predicting endometrial hyperplasia. METHODS: Systematic reviews of all published research on accuracy of miniature endometrial biopsy and endometrial ultrasonography for diagnosing endometrial hyperplasia identified 27 test accuracy studies (2,982 subjects). Of these, 16 had immediate histological verification of diagnosis while 11 had verification delayed > 24 hrs after testing. The effect of delay in verification of diagnosis on estimates of accuracy was evaluated using meta-regression with diagnostic odds ratio (dOR) as the accuracy measure. This analysis was adjusted for study quality and type of test (miniature endometrial biopsy or endometrial ultrasound). RESULTS: Compared to studies with immediate verification of diagnosis (dOR 67.2, 95% CI 21.7-208.8), those with delayed verification (dOR 16.2, 95% CI 8.6-30.5) underestimated the diagnostic accuracy by 74% (95% CI 7%-99%; P value = 0.048). CONCLUSION: Among studies of miniature endometrial biopsy and endometrial ultrasound, diagnostic accuracy is considerably underestimated if there is a delay in histological verification of diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalBMC medicine
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2004

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