Bayesian statistical theory in the preoperative diagnosis of pulmonary lesions

Chest. 1987 Nov;92(5):888-91. doi: 10.1378/chest.92.5.888.


We used a computerized Bayesian algorithm to assist in the preoperative diagnosis of pulmonary lesions. One hundred consecutive patients who were undergoing exploratory thoracotomy for newly discovered pulmonary lesions were prospectively evaluated. The Bayesian model used a total of 44 preoperative clinical and roentgenographic factors to categorize the lesions as benign or malignant. The Bayesian algorithm correctly categorized 96 of the 100 lesions, thereby providing an accuracy of 96 percent. The sensitivity of the model was 98 percent and the specificity was 87 percent. All but two of the 85 malignant lesions were correctly categorized and 13 of the 15 benign lesions were correctly analyzed by the model. These results indicate that computer-assisted diagnosis using the Theorem of Bayes may provide valuable preoperative information for the management of selected patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability*