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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019 Nov 12. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2019-0214-OA. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of Referral Center Pathology Review on Diagnosis and Management of Patients With Appendiceal Neoplasms.

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From the Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Dr Jedrzkiewicz); the Department of Pathology, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan (Dr Tateishi); and the Departments of Pathology (Drs Kirsch, Conner, Riddell, and Pollett) and Surgery (Drs Bischof, McCart, and Govindarajan, and Ms Taylor), Sinai Health System, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Data regarding the clinical impact of subspecialist pathology review of appendiceal neoplasms are limited.


To determine whether pathology review by gastrointestinal pathologists at a tertiary-care referral center resulted in significant changes in the diagnosis and clinical management of appendiceal neoplastic lesions.


We conducted a retrospective review of all patients with an initial diagnosis of appendiceal neoplasm referred to a tertiary-care referral center in Ontario, Canada, from 2010-2016. The discordance rate between original and review pathology reports, the nature of discordances, and the impact of any discordance on patient management were recorded.


A total of 145 patients with appendiceal lesions were identified (low-grade mucinous appendiceal neoplasm [n = 79], invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma [n = 12], "colorectal type" adenocarcinoma [n = 12], goblet cell carcinoid and adenocarcinomas ex goblet cell carcinoid [n = 24], and other lesions/neoplasms [n = 20]). One or more changes in diagnoses were found in 36 of 145 cases (24.8%), with changes within the same category of interpretation (n = 10), stage (n = 7), grade (n = 6), and categoric interpretation (n = 5) being the most common. In 10 of 36 patients (28%), the diagnostic change led to a significant change in management, including recommendation for additional surveillance, systemic chemotherapy, additional surgery, or discontinuation of surveillance.


Subspecialist pathology review of appendiceal neoplastic lesions led to a change in diagnosis in 36 of 145 cases (24.8%), of which nearly 30% (10 of 36 cases) led to a change in clinical management. The overall rate of clinically significant discordances was 7% (10 of 145). Our findings suggest that subspecialist pathology review of appendiceal neoplasms referred to specialized centers is justified.


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