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Statistical Analysis of Surgical Pathology Data Using the R Program

Cuff, Justin MD; Higgins, John P.T. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: May 2012 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 131–139
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e318254d842
Review Articles

An understanding of statistics is essential for analysis of many types of data including data sets typically reported in surgical pathology research papers. Fortunately, a relatively small number of statistical tests apply to data relevant to surgical pathologists. An understanding of when to apply these tests would greatly benefit surgical pathologists who read and/or write papers. In this review, we show how the publicly available statistical program R can be used to analyze recently published surgical pathology papers to replicate the p-values and survival curves presented in these papers. Areas covered include: T-test, chi-square and Fisher exact tests of proportionality, Kaplan-Meier survival curves, the log rank test, and Cox proportional hazards.

Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

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The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: John P.T. Higgins, MD, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305 (e-mail: john.higgins@stanford.edu).

All figures can be viewed online in color at http://http://www.anatomicpathology.com.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.