Variability in diagnostic opinion among pathologists for single small atypical foci in prostate biopsies.

Department of Pathology, 11th floor, University Health Network, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto M5G 2C4, Canada.
The American journal of surgical pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 02/2010; 34(2):169-77. DOI: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181c7997b
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pathologists are increasingly exposed to prostate biopsies with small atypical foci, requiring differentiation between adenocarcinoma, atypical small acinar proliferation suspicious for malignancy, and a benign diagnosis. We studied the level of agreement for such atypical foci among experts in urologic pathology and all-round reference pathologists of the European Randomized Screening study of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC). For this purpose, we retrieved 20 prostate biopsies with small (most <1 mm) atypical foci. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides, including 10 immunostained slides were digitalized for virtual microscopy. The lesional area was not marked. Five experts and 7 ERSPC pathologists examined the cases. Multirater kappa statistics was applied to determine agreement and significant differences between experts and ERSPC pathologists. The kappa value of experts (0.39; confidence interval, 0.29-0.49) was significantly higher than that of ERSPC pathologists (0.21; confidence interval, 0.14-0.27). Full (100%) agreement was reached by the 5 experts for 7 of 20 biopsies. Experts and ERSPC pathologists rendered diagnoses ranging from benign to adenocarcinoma on the same biopsy in 5 and 9 biopsies, respectively. Most of these lesions comprised between 2 and 5 atypical glands. The experts diagnosed adenocarcinoma (49%) more often than the ERSPC pathologists (32%) (P<0.001). As agreement was particularly poor for foci comprising <6 glands, we would encourage pathologists to obtain intercollegial consultation of a specialized pathologist for these lesions before a carcinoma diagnosis, whereas clinicians may consider to perform staging biopsies before engaging on deferred or definite therapy.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As small volumes of prostate cancer are being detected with ever-increasing frequency, the pathologist is challenged to make more diagnostically out of less. This photoessay explores ten diagnostic problems that are noted with regularity by a provider of second opinions in prostate biopsy interpretation. These include: suboptimal submission of prostate cores, atypia with small size of the focus of concern, cytologic ambiguity of the focus of concern, issues with ordering and interpreting immunostains, atypia arising with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, benign mimics of cancer, omitting mention of extraprostatic tumor extension or of Gleason pattern 5, not recognizing intraductal carcinoma, and the differential diagnosis of cancer of urothelial versus prostatic origin.
    Annals of Diagnostic Pathology 10/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2014.07.003 · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUNDA risk of the prostate cancer patient is defined by both the objective and subjective criteria, that is, PSA concentration, Gleason score, and pTNM-stage. The subjectivity of tumor grading influences the risk assessment owing to a large inter- and intra-observer variability. Pathologists propose a central prostate pathology review as a remedy for this problem; yet, the review cannot eliminate the subjectivity from the diagnostic algorithm. The spatial distribution of cancer cell nuclei changes during tumor progression. It implies changes in complexity measured by the capacity dimension D0, the information dimension D1, and the correlation dimension D2.METHODS The cornerstone of the approach is a model of prostate carcinomas composed of the circular fractals CF(4), CF(6 + 0), and CF(6 + 1). This model is both geometrical and analytical, that is, its structure is well-defined, the capacity fractal dimension D0 can be calculated for the infinite circular fractals, and the dimensions D0, D1, D2 can be computed for their finite counterparts representing distribution of cell nuclei. The model enabled both the calibration of the software and the validation of the measurements in 124 prostate carcinomas. The ROC analysis defined the cut-off D0 values for seven classes of complexity.RESULTSThe Gleason classification matched in part with the classification based on the D0 values. The mean ROC sensitivity was 81.3% and the mean ROC specificity 75.2%. Prostate carcinomas were re-stratified into seven classes of complexity according to their D0 values. This increased both the mean ROC sensitivity and the mean ROC specificity to 100%. All homogeneous Gleason patterns were subordinated to the class C1, C4, or C7. D0 = 1.5820 was the cut-off D0 value between the complexity class C2 and C3 representing low-risk cancers and intermediate-risk cancers, respectively.CONCLUSIONS The global fractal dimensions eliminate the subjectivity in the diagnostic algorithm of prostate cancer. Those complexity measures enable the objective subordination of carcinomas to the well-defined complexity classes, and define subgroups of carcinomas with very low malignant potential (complexity class C1) or at a large risk of progression (complexity ass C7). Prostate © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Prostate 03/2015; 75(4). DOI:10.1002/pros.22926 · 3.57 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The histopathological examination of a prostate biopsy is the basis of prostate cancer diagnostics. Prostate cancer grade and extent of cancer in the diagnostic biopsy are important determinants of patient management. Quality of the prostate biopsy and its processing may influence the outcome of the histopathological evaluation. Further, an unambiguous and concise pathology reporting is essential for an appropriate clinical decision process. Since our initial report in 2003, there have been several practice changes, including the increased uptake of follow-up biopsies of patients who are under active surveillance, increasingly taken under guidance of MRI, or who underwent a prostate-sparing therapy. Therefore, we investigated the literature on the current pathology practices and recommendations with regard to prostate biopsy processing and reporting, both at initial diagnosis and in the context of follow-up biopsies in order to update our guidelines on the optimal processing and reporting of prostate biopsies.
    Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 08/2013; 463(3). DOI:10.1007/s00428-013-1466-5 · 2.56 Impact Factor


Available from
May 21, 2014