Table 2:

Methodologic quality

Quality item%*
Is the reference standard likely to correctly classify the target condition?90
Did the whole sample or a random selection of the sample receive verification using a reference standard?90
Did patients receive the same reference standard regardless of the index test result?80
Were selection criteria clearly described?76
Was the spectrum of patients representative of the patients who will receive the test in practice?73
Were the MRS results interpreted without knowledge of the results of the reference standard?71
Was the execution of MRS described in sufficient detail to permit replication of the test?68
Was the reference standard independent of the MRS (ie, MRS did not contribute to the reference standard)?66
Was the execution of the reference standard described in sufficient detail to permit its replication?63
Were uninterpretable/intermediate test results reported?59
Were the same clinical data available when test results were interpreted as would be available when the test is used in practice?49
Were withdrawals from the study explained?49
Were the reference test results interpreted without knowledge of the results of MRS?41
Is the time period between MRS and the reference standard short enough to be reasonably sure that the target condition did not change between the 2 tests?34
Was the reproducibility of (inter-radiologist or inter-technologist) MRS described?12
  • Note:—MRS indicates magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

  • * Each of the quality items were assessed by 2 reviewers for English language articles and by one reviewer for the foreign language articles. Percentages represent the proportion of these assessments which judged the article to have met the quality criterion.