Karla Kerlikowske, MD
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Kerlikowske K. Mammography and Palpable Breast Abnormalities. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:764. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-9-200405040-00025
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(9):764.
We appreciate Dr. Evans's correspondence and the opportunity to clarify the use of the term likelihood ratios in our paper. Likelihood ratios are being used more frequently by clinicians in clinical practice but are still not as familiar as the sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test. Sensitivity is calculated among diseased persons and specificity is calculated among nondiseased persons, whereas likelihood ratios are calculated using a given test result among diseased and nondiseased persons, as noted in the footnotes of our Tables 2, 3, and 5. As stated by Dr. Evans, the likelihood ratios reported in our article are calculated correctly for screening and diagnostic mammography and fine-needle aspiration biopsy, and a clear description of how to apply likelihood ratios for these tests in clinical practice is provided. We reference the source data (1) used to calculate likelihood ratios reported in our paper as well as the formulas, which are as follows.
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