Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

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.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

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

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website,

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:

All figures can be viewed online in color at http://

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.