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Histological classification of gastric adenocarcinoma for epidemiological research: concordance between pathologists.

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  • 1Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5405, USA. ashibata@stanford.edu

Abstract

Epidemiology of gastric adenocarcinoma suggests that intestinal-type and diffuse-type cancers develop through distinct causal pathways. To examine the differences in risk factors and molecular changes between the histological types, reliable data on histological typing are essential. We evaluated the concordance between two pathologists in assessment of 95 gastric adenocarcinomas for Laurén classification and tumor grade. Two pathologists, each blinded to the other's assessment, reviewed H&E-stained slides of gastric tumor. The responses of the two pathologists for histological type were considered as concordant if they fell on one of the three categories (intestinal type, diffuse type, or other). Tumor grade was classified into three categories (well, moderately, or poorly differentiated). The pathologists agreed on the classification of histological type for 71 of 92 (77%) tumors. Kappa coefficient was 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.44-0.73). Concordance for tumor grade was 87%, with a kappa coefficient of 0.72 (95% confidence interval, 0.57-0.87). Both observed concordance and kappa coefficient for histological type and tumor grade were similar across three calendar periods of study. Interobserver agreement was virtually identical between tumors with biopsy specimens only and those with surgical specimens. Although the level of disagreement for histological type observed in this study is comparable with that in other studies, the resulting misclassification would lead to the reduction in observed differences in prevalence and odds ratio estimates between two histological types.

PMID:
11205493
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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