Pathology slide review in gynecologic oncology

Joseph T. Santoso, Robert L. Coleman, Richard L. Voet, Steven G. Bernstein, Samuel Lifshitz, David Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective To analyze the diagnostic accuracy and alteration in treatment planning from interinstitution (different institution) pathologic consultation. Methods We reviewed pathologic reports from 720 referred patients. The diagnosis rendered from a gynecologic pathologist was compared with the original diagnosis. Discrepancies were coded as none, minor, or major. A discrepancy was major if it led to treatment alteration. A discrepancy was minor if it did not lead to treatment alteration. The judgment to declare a discrepancy was made by a gynecologic pathologist, a gynecologist, and three gynecologic oncologists. The review cost was $150 per case. The Cochran Mantel-Haenszel test evaluated any systematic pattern in discrepancies. Results Seven hundred twenty specimens consisted of 113 vulvar, 170 uterine, 289 cervical, 105 ovarian, and 43 vaginal tissues. Six hundred one (84%) pathologic diagnoses showed no discrepancy. There were 104 (14%) minor and 15 (2%) major discrepancies. After reviewing 15 major discrepancies, six surgeries were canceled, two surgeries were modified, one adjuvant radiation treatment was added, one chemotherapy treatment was modified, and five adjuvant chemotherapy treatments were cancelled. No systematic error was identified with regard to the sources (tissue origin) or methods of obtaining the specimen (P = .675). The cost of reviewing 720 specimens was $108,000. The cost of identifying each major discrepancy was $7200. Conclusion Reviewing pathology slides before definitive treatment reveals notable discrepancies in diagnoses. The cost of pathology review is globally expensive but has consequential impact on proper treatment planning for the individual patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-734
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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