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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002 Jun;126(6):670-5.

Misinterpretation of normal cellular elements in fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens: observations from the College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Non-Gynecologic Cytopathology.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pa 19111, USA. na_young@fccc.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Non-Gynecologic Cytopathology is a popular educational program for nongynecologic cytology, with 1018 participating laboratories by the end of 2000. Data generated from this program allow tracking pathologist performance in a wide variety of laboratory practices.

OBJECTIVE:

To review performance of participating pathologists in making patient diagnoses with fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens, with particular interest in the false neoplastic diagnoses (both benign and malignant neoplasms) that were submitted for benign aspirates containing only normal cellular components.

DESIGN:

We reviewed the diagnoses made from 1998 through 2000 by participating pathologists through the use of glass slides containing benign fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens of the liver, kidney, pancreas, and salivary gland that contained only normal cellular components.

RESULTS:

The false neoplastic rate for kidney (60%) was the highest, followed by liver (37%), pancreas (10%), and salivary gland (6%). These rates are much higher than what has previously been reported in the literature.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study illustrates that normal cellular elements are a significant pitfall for overinterpretation of fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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