A general protocol for rigorous evaluation of diagnostic systems in medicine was applied successfully in a comparative study of two radiologic techniques. Accuracies of computed tomography and radionuclide scanning in detecting, localizing, and diagnosing brain lesions were assessed with a sample of patients in whom tumor had been suspected. The principal means of analysis was the "relative operating characteristic," which is unique in providing a measure of accuracy that is largely independent of decision biases. Computed tomography was found to be substantially more accurate than radionuclide scanning.