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Virchows Arch. 2003 Dec;443(6):734-40. Epub 2003 Oct 8.

Reproducibility of the 1998 World Health Organization/International Society of Urologic Pathology classification of papillary urothelial neoplasms of the urinary bladder.

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  • 1School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Dokuz Eylul University, 35340 Inciralti, Izmir, Turkey.



This study assessed the diagnostic agreement and intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of the World Health Organization/International Society of Urologic Pathology Consensus Classification of Urothelial Neoplasms (1998 WHO/ISUP classification) and the 1973 WHO classification.


A teaching set with 5 slides of each papillary neoplasm of low malignant potential, low-grade papillary carcinoma, high-grade papillary carcinoma, and a guideline, as well as a study set of 30 slides containing ten cases of each category, were sent to participants. Six pathologists expert in urological pathology reviewed the 30 slides of non-invasive papillary urothelial tumors in the study set. Diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility were evaluated using intra- and inter-rater techniques (kappa statistic).


A moderate to substantial intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was achieved for both the 1998 WHO/ISUP and 1973 WHO classification. The results of the two classification systems were not different statistically ( P>0.05). Reproducibility was lower in low-grade tumors for both classifications.


The new proposed classification system for non-invasive urothelial neoplasms does not increase the reproducibility. There is still a need for uniformity in grading in order to compare the different studies and therapies and to provide more accurate information for management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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