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Archives of pathology laboratory medicine [journal]
- Detection of BRAF p.V600E Mutations in Melanoma by Immunohistochemistry Has a Good Interobserver Reproducibility. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May 7.
Context.-Assessment of BRAF p.V600E mutational status has become necessary for treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma. Detection of p.V600E mutation by immunohistochemistry was recently reported in several tumor types.
Objective.-To evaluate the interobserver reproducibility of BRAF p.V600E detection by immunohistochemistry in melanoma. Design.-Immunohistochemistry with VE1 antibody was performed on metastatic melanomas of 67 patients. Staining interpretation was performed on digital image virtual slides of tissue microarrays. The p.V600E status was determined by 7 pathologists from 3 European laboratories, blinded for other interpretations and for molecular biology results.
Results.-Melanomas had p.V600E (n = 30), p.V600K (n = 4), p.K601E (n = 1), p.600-601delinsE (n = 1), or no p.V600 mutations (n = 31). Staining of p.V600E within mutated cells was cytoplasmic and diffuse, and for each case the staining on the 3 tissue microarray cores was similar. In 53 cases (79.1%) the 7 pathologists had perfect concordance. Agreement of interobserver reproducibility was almost perfect (κ = 0.81 [0.77-0.85]). Only 2 false-positive responses (0.9%) were obtained. The specificities reported were 100% for 5 pathologists (two of whom previously trained for p.V600E interpretation), and 97% for 2 untrained pathologists.
Conclusions.-Detection of BRAF p.V600E mutation by immunohistochemistry in melanomas has an excellent interobserver reproducibility. Our results suggest that immunohistochemistry could be used as a first step for detection of BRAF p.V600E mutation, to identify patients with melanoma as candidates for BRAF inhibitors.
- Renal Lymph Nodes for Tumor Staging: Appraisal of 871 Nephrectomies With Examination of Hilar Fat. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May 7.
Context.-Despite decades of research, the role of lymphadenectomy in the management of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is still not clearly defined. Before the implementation of targeted therapies, lymph node metastases were considered to be a portent of markedly decreased survival, regardless of the tumor stage. However, the role of lymphadenectomy and the relative benefit of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection in the context of modern adjunctive therapies have not been conclusively addressed in the clinical literature. The current pathologic literature does not offer clear recommendations with regard to the minimum number of lymph nodes that should be examined in order to accurately stage the pN in renal cell carcinoma. Although gross examination of the hilar fat to assess the nodal status is performed routinely, it has not yet been determined whether this approach is adequate.
Objective.-To evaluate the status of lymph nodes and their rate of identification in the pathologic examination of nephrectomy specimens in adult renal malignancies. Design.-We reviewed the operative and pathology reports of 871 patients with renal malignancies treated by nephrectomy. All tumors were classified according the seventh edition of the Tumor-Nodes-Metastasis classification. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Nx, no lymph nodes recovered; N0, negative; and N1, with positive lymph nodes. Grossly visible lymph nodes were submitted separately; as per grossing protocol, hilar fatty tissue was submitted for microscopic examination. We evaluated the factors that affected the number of lymph nodes identified and the variables that allowed the prediction of nodal involvement.
Results.-Lymph nodes were recovered in 333 of 871 patients (38%): hilar in 125 patients, nonhilar in 137 patients, and hilar and nonhilar in 71 patients. Patients with positive lymph nodes (n = 87) were younger, had larger primary tumors, and had lymph nodes of average size, as well as a higher pT stage, nuclear grade, and rate of metastases. Metastases were seen only in grossly identified lymph nodes (65% hilar, 16% nonhilar); all microscopic nodes were negative. Even with the microscopic examination of fat, hilar lymph nodes were recovered in only 22.5% of patients. A nonhilar route of node metastasis was suspected in 40 patients.
Conclusions.-Only grossly identifiable lymph nodes, both hilar and nonhilar, were positive for metastases. Although microscopic examination of the hilar fat increased the number of lymph nodes recovered, the identification rate of these nodes was low (22.5%), and such microscopic nodes were invariably negative. Hence, microscopic examination of the hilar fat may be unnecessary.
- Tracking in Anatomic Pathology. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May 1.
Bar code-based tracking solutions, long present in clinical pathology laboratories, have recently made an appearance in anatomic pathology (AP) laboratories. Tracking of AP "assets" (specimens, blocks, slides) can enhance laboratory efficiency, promote patient safety, and improve patient care. Routing of excess clinical material into research laboratories and biorepositories are other avenues that can benefit from tracking of AP assets. Implementing tracking is not as simple as installing software and turning it on. Not all tracking solutions are alike. Careful analysis of laboratory workflow is needed before implementing tracking to assure that this solution will meet the needs of the laboratory. Such analysis will likely uncover practices that may need to be modified before a tracking system can be deployed. Costs that go beyond simply that of purchasing software will be incurred and need to be considered in the budgeting process. Finally, people, not technology, are the key to assuring quality. Tracking will require significant changes in workflow and an overall change in the culture of the laboratory. Preparation, training, buy-in, and accountability of the people involved are crucial to the success of this process. This article reviews the benefits, available technology, underlying principles, and implementation of tracking solutions for the AP and research laboratory.
- Validating Whole Slide Imaging for Diagnostic Purposes in Pathology: Guideline from the College of American Pathologists Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May 1.
Context.-There is increasing interest in using whole slide imaging (WSI) for diagnostic purposes (primary and/or consultation). An important consideration is whether WSI can safely replace conventional light microscopy as the method by which pathologists review histologic sections, cytology slides, and/or hematology slides to render diagnoses. Validation of WSI is crucial to ensure that diagnostic performance based on digitized slides is at least equivalent to that of glass slides and light microscopy. Currently, there are no standard guidelines regarding validation of WSI for diagnostic use.
Objective.-To recommend validation requirements for WSI systems to be used for diagnostic purposes. Design.-The College of American Pathologists Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center convened a nonvendor panel from North America with expertise in digital pathology to develop these validation recommendations. A literature review was performed in which 767 international publications that met search term requirements were identified. Studies outside the scope of this effort and those related solely to technical elements, education, and image analysis were excluded. A total of 27 publications were graded and underwent data extraction for evidence evaluation. Recommendations were derived from the strength of evidence determined from 23 of these published studies, open comment feedback, and expert panel consensus.
Results.-Twelve guideline statements were established to help pathology laboratories validate their own WSI systems intended for clinical use. Validation of the entire WSI system, involving pathologists trained to use the system, should be performed in a manner that emulates the laboratory's actual clinical environment. It is recommended that such a validation study include at least 60 routine cases per application, comparing intraobserver diagnostic concordance between digitized and glass slides viewed at least 2 weeks apart. It is important that the validation process confirm that all material present on a glass slide to be scanned is included in the digital image.
Conclusions.-Validation should demonstrate that the WSI system under review produces acceptable digital slides for diagnostic interpretation. The intention of validating WSI systems is to permit the clinical use of this technology in a manner that does not compromise patient care.
- Adenomyoepithelioma of the breast: a brief diagnostic review. [Journal Article]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):725-9.
Adenomyoepithelioma of the breast is an uncommon tumor characterized by dual differentiation into luminal cells and myoepithelial cells. A spectrum of histologic patterns is observed among these tumors and even in different areas of individual tumors. These lesions can be diagnostically challenging, especially when a core needle biopsy is performed, because of the heterogeneity of adenomyoepitheliomas. Recognition of the biphasic cellular elements and the characteristic overall architecture of the tumors in combination with immunohistochemistry are essential to establish the correct diagnosis. Although most tumors have a benign clinical course, local recurrences, malignant transformations, and distant metastases have been reported. All the reported malignant adenomyoepitheliomas with metastases have shown significant cytologic atypia and brisk mitotic rates. Therefore, adequate sampling of the tumor to identify these features is necessary. A complete excision with adequate margins would lower the chance of local recurrence or potential for metastasis.
- Inflammatory fibroid polyp of the gallbladder bearing a platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha mutation. [Journal Article]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):721-4.
The inflammatory fibroid polyp (IFP) is a benign lesion occurring in the digestive tract, mostly in the stomach and small bowel, composed of fibrovascular tissue infiltrated by inflammatory cells including eosinophils and mastocytes. Its pathogenesis has been controversial (reactive versus neoplastic). The recent finding of mutations in platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA) in most gastric and small intestinal IFPs supported their neoplastic etiology, moreover helping in their differential diagnosis. In the only gallbladder IFP reported so far, the diagnosis was based on morphologic and immunohistochemical grounds, which in current standards would probably be considered not fully conclusive. Conversely, the gallbladder IFP we report shows typical pathologic features supported by a PDGFRA mutation, similar to its usual gastric and small intestinal counterparts, constituting the first report of an unequivocal IFP at gallbladder level. Thus, IFPs must be considered in the differential diagnosis of gallbladder mesenchymal masses, and genetic analysis of PDGFRA is a helpful tool for this purpose.
- Hypoxic patterns of placental injury: a review. [Journal Article]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):706-20.
Context.-In utero hypoxia is an important cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality and can be evaluated retrospectively to explain perinatal outcomes, to assess recurrence risk in subsequent pregnancies, and to investigate for medicolegal purposes by identification of many hypoxic placental lesions. Definitions of some placental hypoxic lesions have been applied relatively liberally, and many of them are frequently underreported.
Objectives.-To present a comprehensive assessment of the criteria for diagnosing acute and chronic histologic features, patterns, and lesions of placental and fetal hypoxia and to discuss clinicopathologic associations and limitations of the use thereof. The significance of lesions that have been described relatively recently and are not yet widely used, such as laminar necrosis; excessive, extravillous trophoblasts; decidual multinucleate extravillous trophoblasts; and, most important, the patterns of diffuse chronic hypoxic preuterine, uterine, and postuterine placental injury and placental maturation defect, will be discussed. Data Sources.-
Conclusions.-The placenta does not respond in a single way to hypoxia, and various placental hypoxic features should be explained within a clinical context. Because the placenta has a large reserve capacity, hypoxic lesions may not result in poor fetal condition or outcome. On the other hand, very acute, in utero, hypoxic events, followed by prompt delivery, may not be associated with placental pathology, and many poor perinatal outcomes can be explained by an etiology other than hypoxia. Nevertheless, assessment of placental hypoxic lesions is helpful for retrospective explanations of complications in pregnancy and in medicolegal investigation.
- Increased thickness of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue occurs more frequently in steatohepatitis than in simple steatosis. [Journal Article]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):642-6.
Context.-The incidence of obesity is increasing and contributes to the rising incidence of fatty liver. Body mass index (BMI) is used to assess the degree of obesity but does not take into account the pattern of body fat distribution.
Objectives.-To confirm the increasing incidence of fatty liver in an autopsy study. We hypothesized that a standardized measurement of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (ASAT) might be a good noninvasive method for differentiating steatohepatitis from steatosis. Design.-Consecutive complete adult postmortem cases were studied and liver sections were assessed with a steatohepatitis scoring system. Spleen weight, ASAT, and clinical information were obtained. Spleen histology was assessed in a subset of patients having splenomegaly in the absence of cirrhosis.
Results.-Patients with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, and appreciable alcohol use were excluded. Of 306 cases, the frequency of fatty liver was 51.6% with 33.3% having simple steatosis and 18.3%, having steatohepatitis. Mean ASAT was 3.7 cm in the steatohepatitis group versus 2.6 cm in the steatosis group (P < .001); this difference was greater in patients with a BMI less than 25 kg/m(2) (P = .05). Fibrocongestive splenomegaly was noted in 9 of 38 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (24%) in the absence of cirrhosis.
Conclusions.-In this series of autopsy cases, a dramatic increase in the prevalence of fatty liver disease is demonstrated. Thicker ASAT is associated more with steatohepatitis than with simple steatosis, especially in patients with BMI below 25 kg/m(2). Fibrocongestive splenomegaly may occur in the absence of cirrhosis in the presence of steatohepatitis.
- Raising the quality of care during medical missions: a survey to assess the need for clinical and anatomic pathology services in international medical missions. [Journal Article]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):637-41.
Context.-Providing basic medical care to patients in underserved communities around the world is a valuable service and should not be compromised. Limited publicly available information on the use of pathology services during short-term medical missions (STMMs) shows a dire need for the improved quality of care being provided.
Objective.-To assess the need for clinical and anatomic pathology services in international medical missions by conducting an online survey. Design.-A survey containing 35 questions aimed to understand the current use and availability of routine laboratory tests during STMMs, identify the need for particular tests that would improve quality of care, and determine the perceived obstacles preventing the delivery of the care to underserved communities worldwide. Answers from 21 health care providers who served on 50 medical missions were assessed.
Results.-Survey results revealed a significant discrepancy between the availability of pathology services in the United States and during STMMs. Statistical significance (P< .001) was found in areas of routine blood work, cytopathology, and histologic evaluation, among many others. More than half of the STMMs did not have access to basic metabolic panel, rapid hepatitis B test, and microbial cultures. Another 28% of health care providers indicated that having human immunodeficiency virus testing would have improved health care quality.
Conclusions.-Survey results show the need for improved pathology support during STMMs. The lack of precise diagnosis and disease monitoring has a negative effect on the quality of care provided during missions and the ability to enhance global health.
- p16 Deletion in Sarcomatoid Tumors of the Lung and Pleura. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013 May; 137(5):632-636.
Context.-The diagnosis of sarcomatoid neoplasms of the lung and pleura can be challenging. Homozygous deletion of 9p21, the locus harboring the p16 gene, has been reported as the most common genetic alteration in malignant mesotheliomas that is of potential diagnostic and prognostic significance.