Frank Schaarschmidt and Ludwig A. Hothorn
When a new in vitro assay method is introduced, it should be validated against the best available knowledge or a reference standard assay. For assays resulting in a simple binary outcome, the data can be displayed as a 2 × 2 table. Based on the estimated sensitivity and specificity, and the assumed prevalence of true positives in the population of interest, the positive and negative predictive values of the new assay can be calculated. We briefly discuss the experimental design of validation experiments and previously published methods for computing confidence intervals for predictive values. The application of the methods is illustrated for two toxicological examples, by using tools available in the free software, namely, R: confidence intervals for predictive values are computed for a validation study of an in vitro test battery, and sample size.