Selection and interpretation of diagnostic tests and procedures

P. F. Griner, R. J. Mayewski, A. I. Mushlin, P. Greenland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

343 Scopus citations


The proper selection and interpretation of diagnostic tests and procedures can be guided by the principles of diagnostic reasoning and knowledge of test characteristics. The application of these principles has been limited primarily to generic issues in medicine. Physicians have been slow to encorporate them into their day-to-day assessment and management of patients. The authors wish to assist physicians in this effort by reinforcing existing knowledge of the principles of test use and interpretation and by showing how these principles can be applied in common clinical situations. The first two sections pull together information on principles that has been published by recognized authorities. The third section contains a set of structured exercises. These exercises require the reader to calculate the likelihood of the disease in question, given figures for the operating characteristics of the relevant tests, the test results, and the estimate of the probability of the disease before the test was ordered. The final section contains critiques that suggest rational diagnostic strategies for various diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Issue number4 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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