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Semiparametric Estimation of the Covariate-Specific ROC Curve in Presence of Ignorable Verification Bias

Authors

  • Danping Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
      email: dpliu@u.washington.edu
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  • Xiao-Hua Zhou

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, U.S.A.
    2. Northwest HSR&D Center of Excellence, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington 98108, U.S.A.
      email: azhou@u.washington.edu
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email:dpliu@u.washington.edu

email:azhou@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Summary Covariate-specific receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are often used to evaluate the classification accuracy of a medical diagnostic test or a biomarker, when the accuracy of the test is associated with certain covariates. In many large-scale screening tests, the gold standard is subject to missingness due to high cost or harmfulness to the patient. In this article, we propose a semiparametric estimation of the covariate-specific ROC curves with a partial missing gold standard. A location-scale model is constructed for the test result to model the covariates' effect, but the residual distributions are left unspecified. Thus the baseline and link functions of the ROC curve both have flexible shapes. With the gold standard missing at random (MAR) assumption, we consider weighted estimating equations for the location-scale parameters, and weighted kernel estimating equations for the residual distributions. Three ROC curve estimators are proposed and compared, namely, imputation-based, inverse probability weighted, and doubly robust estimators. We derive the asymptotic normality of the estimated ROC curve, as well as the analytical form of the standard error estimator. The proposed method is motivated and applied to the data in an Alzheimer's disease research.

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