Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
J Clin Pathol. 1985 Nov;38(11):1235-40.

Frozen section diagnosis: an audit.


A consecutive series of 1000 operative frozen section diagnoses was reviewed. Correct diagnosis was made at the time in 96.5% of the cases. Clinically relevant errors were found in 1.3% of the cases and unimportant errors in 0.9%. Diagnosis was deferred, to await subsequent paraffin sections, in a further 1.3%. All the errors and provisional diagnoses in the deferred cases were conservative false negative results; no false positive diagnosis of malignancy was made. The cases of incorrect or deferred diagnosis were analysed to ascertain the origin of the difficulties, which comprised: technical imperfection (three cases); the focal nature of the lesion (14); and pathological misinterpretation (28). More than one of these factors played a part in eight cases. Further retrospective assessment indicated that the factors leading to error or deferred diagnosis were avoidable in 57% and potentially avoidable in 43% of cases. Misinterpretation was the single factor responsible for all avoidable misdiagnoses or deferred diagnosis. None the less, unavoidable factors led to erroneous or deferred diagnosis in about 2% of operative frozen section requests. Using present methods this seems to be the irreducible minimum of failures to make the correct diagnosis when frozen sections are assessed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk