Comparison of Semiparametric, Parametric, and Nonparametric ROC Analysis for Continuous Diagnostic Tests Using a Simulation Study and Acute Coronary Syndrome Data

Creative Commons License

ÇOLAK E., MUTLU F., BAL C., Oner S., Ozdamar K., Gok B., ...More

COMPUTATIONAL AND MATHEMATICAL METHODS IN MEDICINE, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


We aimed to compare the performance of three different individual ROC methods (one from each of the broad categories of parametric, nonparametric and semiparametric analysis) for assessing continuous diagnostic tests: the binormal method as a parametric method, an empirical approach as a nonparametric method, and a semiparametric method using generalized linear models (GLM). We performed a simulation study with various sample sizes under normal, skewed, and monotone distributions. In the simulations, we used estimates of the ROC curve parameters a and b, estimates of the area under the curve (AUC), the standard errors and root mean square errors (RMSEs) of these estimates, and the 95% AUC confidence intervals for comparison. The three methodologies were also applied to an acute coronary syndrome dataset in which serum myoglobin levels were used as a biomarker for detecting acute coronary syndrome. The simulation and application studies suggest that the semiparametric ROC analysis using GLM is a reliable method when the distributions of the diagnostic test results are skewed and that it provides a smooth ROC curve for obtaining a unique cutoff value. A sample size of 50 is sufficient for applying the semiparametric ROC method.