Determining cut-points for Alzheimer's disease biomarkers: statistical issues, methods and challenges.

Bartlett, JW; Frost, C; Mattsson, N; Skillbäck, T; Blennow, K; Zetterberg, H; Schott, JM; (2012) Determining cut-points for Alzheimer's disease biomarkers: statistical issues, methods and challenges. Biomarkers in medicine, 6 (4). pp. 391-400. ISSN 1752-0363 DOI: 10.2217/bmm.12.49

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Abstract

: New proposed criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease increasingly incorporate biomarkers, most of which are normally measured on a continuous scale. Operationalizing such criteria thus requires continuous biomarkers to be dichotomized, which in turns requires the selection of a cut-point at which to dichotomize. In this article, we review the statistical principles underlying the choice of cut-points, describe some of the most commonly adopted statistical approaches used to estimate cut-points, highlight potential pitfalls in some of the approaches and characterize in what sense the estimated cut-point from each approach is optimal. We also emphasize that how a cut-point is selected must be made in reference to how the resulting dichotomized biomarker is to be used, and in particular what actions will follow from a positive or negative test result.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Research Centre: Centre for Statistical Methodology
PubMed ID: 22917141
Web of Science ID: 307324600006
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/210183

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