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Ann Diagn Pathol. 1999 Feb;3(1):48-61.

Histologic prognostication in soft tissue sarcomas: grading versus subtyping or both? A comprehensive review of the literature with proposed practical guidelines.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525, USA.


Despite the validation of many histologic grading systems for soft tissue sarcomas, none have been universally accepted. Because of the overall rarity of specific histologic sarcoma subtypes, evaluation of grading systems and their prognostic significance have tended to base the results on sarcomas as a general group, diminishing the value and significance of histologic subtyping. A representative review of the literature regarding histologic grading of soft tissue sarcomas and its relationship to histologic subtype, stage, and prognosis is analyzed and discussed. Histologic grading of many soft tissue sarcomas appears to be a valuable predictor of patient survival, as confirmed by the literature. However, accurate histologic subtyping is essential for accurate histologic grading. Histologic grading in some sarcoma subtypes is probably not applicable and may underestimate biologic behavior. Clinicians and pathologists should be aware of the limitations, prognostic significances, and relationships of histologic subtyping and histologic grading in the therapeutic management and prognostication of soft tissue sarcomas.

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