V A LiVolsi

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (234)945.13 Total impact

  • Virginia A. LiVolsi
    Human pathology 01/2014; 45(1):189. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oncocytic follicular (OF) cells can be a prominent component of fine needle aspiration (FNA) specimens from neoplasms (adenomas and carcinomas) and nodules arising in multinodular goiter and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT). Because OF cells can be present in non-neoplastic and neoplastic thyroid lesions it can be challenging to differentiate between these two in FNA specimens. The aims of this study were to determine the risk of malignancy in cases diagnosed as either oncocytic follicular neoplasm (OFN) or hyperplastic/adenomatoid nodule with OF on FNA and to identify clinicopathologic features that may help in predicting malignancy in such cases, especially the presence or absence of CLT. We retrospectively searched the computerized laboratory information system at our institution between 1998 and 2009 for thyroid US guided FNA specimens in which the term "oncocytic/oncocytes" was mentioned in the final cytopathologic diagnosis. A total of 340 cases were selected for this study. The following data points were collected: Patient demographics, site of thyroid biopsy, size of lesion, FNA diagnosis, histopathologic follow-up and presence of CLT. Surgical pathology follow-up (SPFU) was available in 269 (79%) cases. Two hundred and sixty patients were females and 80 males (average age 53 years). The lesion size was <3.0 cm in 241 (71%) and ≥ 3.0 cm in 99 (29%) cases. Cytologic diagnoses included: Follicular neoplasm with oncocytic features (FNOF) 321 and suggestive of FNOF 19 cases; a secondary cytologic diagnosis of CLT was made in 20 cases. SPFU was available in 269 (79%) cases; it was benign in 213 (213/267 = 79%) and malignant in 56 (56/269 = 21%) cases. The background thyroid showed CLT in 67 (25%) cases; 24% (48/196) neoplasms occurred with versus 76% (147/196) without CLT. The rate of malignancy was lower in nodules measuring less than 3.0 cm as compared to those equal or greater than 3.0 cm in size (17% vs. 28% respectively). The presence of CLT did not significantly alter the rate of malignancy in both FNA and surgical pathology specimens. Based on this study, nodule size and not CLT appears to be an important clinicopathologic features in the management of thyroid FNA specimens diagnosed as OFN.
    CytoJournal 01/2013; 10:2.
  • American Journal of Clinical Pathology 12/2012; 138(6):907-10. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate local control following transoral robotic surgery (TORS) with the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical Inc) as a single treatment modality for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Prospective, single-center, observational study. Academic university health system and tertiary referral center. Thirty adults with previously untreated OSCC. Transoral robotic surgery with staged neck dissection as indicated. Local control and margin status. Thirty patients were enrolled with previously untreated OSCC and no prior head and neck radiation therapy. Follow-up duration was at least 18 months. At the time of diagnosis, 9 tumors were T1 (30%); 16 were T2 (53%); 4 were T3 (13%); and 1 was T4a (3%). The anatomic sites of these primary tumors were tonsil in 14 (47%), tongue base in 9 (30%), glossotonsillar sulcus in 3 (10%), soft palate in 3 (10%), and oropharyngeal wall in 1 (3%). There was only 1 patient (3%) who had a positive margin after primary resection; further resection achieved a final negative margin. Perineural invasion was noted in 3 tumors (10%). No patient received postoperative adjuvant therapy. At a mean follow-up of 2.7 years (range, 1.5-5.1 years), there was 1 patient with local failure (3%). As the only modality used for treatment of pathologically low-risk OSCCs, TORS provides high local control and is associated with low surgical morbidity.
    Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery 07/2012; 138(7):628-34. · 1.92 Impact Factor
  • Journal of neuro-ophthalmology: the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 06/2012; 32(2):167-71. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 1976, Hawk and Hazard described the tall cell variant (TCV) of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). While the lesions they described had cytologic features of papillary carcinoma, they showed more aggressive behavior with a greater propensity for extrathyroid extension and lymphovascular invasion than classic PTC. In 1991, Bronner and LiVolsi described a series of patients with TCV that progressed to spindle cell squamous carcinoma (SCSC), a unique form of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. This study describes the variable clinical and pathologic presentations in 31 patients with anaplastic SCSC arising in association with TCV. The surgical pathology archives as well as the personal consultation files of one of the authors (V.A.L.) were reviewed to retrieve cases of SCSC arising in association with TCV. The available clinical as well as pathologic information on all patients was reviewed. A total of 31 patients with SCSC arising in association with TCV were retrieved from our files. The average age at primary presentation was 67 (range 32-92) with a female-to-male ratio of 2:1. Three clinical scenarios for SCSC associated with TCV were identified. These were type I, consisting of TCV with SCSC at the time of presentation (18 patients); type II, consisting of SCSC arising as a recurrence in patients with a known history of TCV (5 patients); and type III, consisting of SCSC presenting as a primary laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma in a patient with or without a known history of TCV (8 patients). The type III cases were of most concern since they often were confused with primary laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma and most often were diagnosed after laryngectomy. SCSC of the thyroid is almost exclusively associated with TCV and can have variable clinical presentations. SCSC is most commonly seen associated with a primary diagnosis of TCV. SCSC may be seen, however, in patients with recurrent PTC and most importantly may present in a fashion similar to primary laryngeal SCSC. Therefore, caution should be exercised in evaluating laryngeal squamous lesions in patients with known history of TCV and without known risks factors for head and neck carcinogenesis.
    Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association 02/2011; 21(5):493-9. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Chernobyl accident was followed by a large increase in the incidence of thyroid carcinoma in the areas exposed to high levels of fallout. The Chernobyl Tumor Bank was set up in 1998 to make tumours available for study internationally, and a pathology panel reviewed all the tumours and established an agreed diagnosis. The thyroid tumours that were discovered after the Chernobyl nuclear accident were virtually all (95%) of the papillary carcinoma type. Rare examples of other tumour types were identified. Within the papillary group, several subtypes were noted, including classical or usual type, follicular variant, solid variant and mixed patterns Diffuse sclerosis variant, cribriform/morular type and Warthin-like variant were rare. No tall cell or columnar cell variants were identified. The tumours examined by the Pathology Panel of the Chernobyl Tumor Bank constitute a large representative sample (estimated at about 50%) of the tumours that developed in this population. This overview describes the method adopted by the panel and the different diagnostic categories adopted; illustrates the pathology of these neoplasms; compares the pathological characteristics of the early lesions with those identified after long latency periods and the institution of screening programmes and outlines the possible associated causes for the various morphological patterns seen.
    Clinical Oncology 02/2011; 23(4):261-7. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical benefit of postoperative mediastinal radiation for completely resected Masaoka stage 2 thymoma remains controversial. Due to its indolent nature and infrequent recurrences, no study has definitively determined the optimal approach. We retrospectively reviewed 175 consecutive patients who underwent thymic resection from January 1990 to July 2008 at the University of Pennsylvania. The primary endpoint was local recurrence, defined as recurrence within the surgical bed, treated by resection alone versus resection plus radiation. Patients with high recurrence risk were referred for adjuvant radiotherapy. Seventy-four Masaoka stage 2 patients were resected; 62 underwent complete resections with adequate postsurgical follow-up. Thirty-seven patients received adjuvant radiotherapy and 25 patients were observed. The median radiation dose was 5040 cGy. The median follow-up for all patients was 52 months. The local recurrence rate was 3.2%. The proportion of recurrences in patients observed after surgery was 8% versus 0% in those who received adjuvant radiotherapy (P = .15). Size was not an independent predictor of recurrence (P = .81). The tumor-related death rate was 0%, and overall death rate was 3.2%. One death occurred in each group, observation, and radiation. There were no grade 3 or 4 complications with radiation. Recurrence rates were low following resection of stage 2 thymoma either with or without adjuvant radiotherapy. Adjuvant radiotherapy, although well-tolerated, did not significantly decrease the local relapse rate. Differences may be observed in future studies of patients who are at higher risk for local recurrence, based on completeness of resection, World Health Organization histology, and tumor size.
    Cancer 02/2011; 117(15):3502-8. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies are the cornerstone of preoperative evaluation of thyroid nodules, but FNA diagnostic performance has varied across different studies. In the course of collecting thyroid FNA specimens for the development of a molecular diagnostic test, local cytology and both local and expert panel surgical pathology results were reviewed. Prospective FNAs were collected at 21 clinical sites. Banked FNAs were collected from two academic centers. Cytology and corresponding local and expert panel surgical pathology results were compared to each other and to a meta-review of 11 recently published U.S.-based thyroid FNA studies. FNA diagnostic performance was comparable between the study specimens and the meta-review. Histopathology malignancy rates for prospective clinic FNAs were 34% for cytology indeterminate cases and 98% for cytology malignant cases, comparable to the figures found in the meta-review (34% and 97%, respectively). However, histopathology malignancy rates were higher for cytology benign cases in the prospective clinic FNA subcohort (11%) than in the meta-review (6%, with meta-review rates of 10% at community sites and 2% at academic centers, p < 0.0001). Resection rates for prospective clinic FNAs were also comparable to the meta-review for both cytology indeterminate cases (62% vs. 59%, respectively) and cytology malignant cases (82% vs. 81%, respectively). Surgical pathology categorical disagreement (benign vs. malignant diagnosis) was higher between local pathology and a consensus of the two expert panelists (11%) than between the two expert panelists both pre- (8%) and postconferral (3%). Although recent guidelines for FNA biopsy and interpretation have been published, the rates of false-positive and false-negative results remain a challenge. Two-thirds of cytology indeterminate cases were benign postoperatively and may decrease with the development of an accurate molecular diagnostic test. High disagreement rates between local and expert panel histopathology diagnosis suggests that central review for surgical diagnoses should be used when developing diagnostic tests based on resected thyroid specimens.
    Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association 12/2010; 21(3):243-51. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated pain scores and maximal incisal opening (MIO) in patients with total alloplastic temporomandibular joints found to have post-surgical neuromas following revision arthroplasty, compared with patients who underwent revision arthroplasty without neuromas. 19 cases were reviewed of which 11 had neuromas excised. Data were available for 8 cases in the immediate postoperative period and 7 cases had follow-up data. 8 patients had revision arthroplasty with excision of scar tissue (7 with postoperative, 4 with long-term data). Follow-up ranged from 2 months to 5.9 years (mean 1.2 years). 6 of 8 patients obtained clinically significant pain reduction in the immediate postoperative period when their neuromas were excised, compared with 3 of 7 patients without neuromas. On long-term follow-up, 3 of 7 patients in the neuroma group had clinically significant pain reduction, 3 reported lower pain scores, 1 had no pain change. No patients had increased pain. 1 of 4 patients in the scar revision group had clinically significant pain reduction, 2 had no change, 1 reported increased pain. Mean MIO was 23 mm preoperative and 28 mm postoperative in patients with neuromas, compared with 27.75 mm and 31.25 mm, respectively, in patients without neuromas.
    International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 11/2010; 40(4):366-71. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • Virginia A. LiVolsi
    Human pathology 02/2009; 40(2):281. · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Virginia A. LiVolsi
    Human pathology 01/2009; 40(1):145. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) is a 38-kd homeodomain containing DNA-binding protein, identified in thyroid and lung as a regulator of thyroid-specific genes and surfactant and Clara cell secretory protein gene expression. TTF-1 has been used as a reliable lineage marker for lung adenocarcinoma and thyroid carcinoma in surgical pathology. However, TTF-1 expression has been recently reported in carcinomas of other origins including female genital tract. We evaluated TTF-1 expression with 3 primary different antibodies (8G7G3/1, SPT24, and BGX-397A) and 2 secondary automated detection systems (Envision+/Dako autostainer versus Refine/Bond Max) in 104 ovarian and endometrial tumors on routine surgical specimens and 108 ovarian tumors on tissue microarray (TMA) specimens. SPT24 and Refine/Bond Max autostainer was the most sensitive system among the primary antibodies and secondary detection/autostainers tested. By using SPT24/Refine/Bond Max, TTF-1 reactivity could be detected in all major histologic subtypes of gynecologic tumors and up to 26% of all cases tested on routine surgical specimens and 6.4% on TMA. TTF-1 was most frequently detected in uterine malignant mixed Müllerian tumor (82%), more common in uterine tumors than ovarian tumors, and more common in surgical specimen than TMA. When present, tumor cells can be rarely positive or diffusely positive for TTF-1 reactivity. In addition to malignant tumors, TTF-1 was also detected in benign tumors and benign tubal and endometrial epithelia. TTF 1 immunostaining has the potential to misguide a pathologist to conclude an ovarian or endometrial tumor being a lung metastasis. However, the role of TTF-1 in female genital tract and its tumors is unknown.
    International journal of gynecological pathology: official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists 12/2008; 28(1):10-8. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study reports 13 adult parameningeal rhabdomyosarcomas. Ages ranged from 18 to 86 years. Nine lesions were alveolar, 3 were embryonal, and 1 could not be further classified. All cases were positive for desmin and/or myogenin and 1 tumor was strongly positive for cytokeratin. PAX3-FKHR or PAX7-FKHR fusion transcripts or FKHR breaks were identified in 5 cases confirming a diagnosis of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Three cases were negative supporting a diagnosis of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. A total of 10 patients were treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Three patients are alive with no disease, 3 are alive with disease, 3 died of disease, and 4 patients are lost to follow-up. Adult sinonasal rhabdomyosarcoma is uncommon and should be considered in the differential of sinonasal neoplasms. Disease can occur in the elderly. Desmin and myogenin can aid in the diagnosis but cytokeratin reactivity can be seen and care must be taken not to diagnose carcinoma.
    International Journal of Surgical Pathology 11/2008; 17(1):22-30. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    Ronald Ghossein, Virginia A Livolsi
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The most common of the aggressive variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the tall cell variant (TCV). Because there are serious prognostic and management implications to a diagnosis of TCV, we review the entity to inform clinicians about the many facets of TCV. SUMMARY: The TCV of PTC is characterized by cells having the nuclear features of PTC and whose height is at least twice or thrice their width. There is disagreement regarding the proportion of tall cells and the cell height required to diagnose TCV. In view of its blurred definition and rarity, studies have shown that TCV is still underdiagnosed. We propose that PTC be diagnosed as TCV if it is composed of > or =50% tall cells. The latter should have a height that is at least twice their width, an eosinophilic cytoplasm, and the nuclear features of PTC. Whatever its definition, there is a consensus that TCV has a higher recurrence and death rate than classical PTC. Most authorities believe that TCV's worse prognosis is related to its older age at presentation, larger tumor size, and high frequency of extrathyroid extension (ETE). However, in a recent article, TCV without ETE was shown to have a more aggressive behavior than classical PTC without ETE independent of age, gender, and tumor size. The aggressive behavior of TCV could be related to the high expression of Muc1 and matrix metalloproteinase and to the higher prevalence of B-RAF mutations when compared to classical PTC. The importance of TCV is accentuated by the fact that it is overrepresented in those fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomogram (FDG-PET)-positive thyroid carcinomas that are refractory to radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy constituting 20% of these incurable tumors. Conclusion: TCV is a biologically and clinically aggressive form of PTC that is still underdiagnosed. TCV is overrepresented in patients with RAI refractory disease. It has a high prevalence of B-RAF mutations making the latter an attractive target in RAI refractory cases. Imaging modalities that can detect RAI refractory disease such as FDG-PET scanning are needed in many patients and a requirement in those with extensive ETE. More studies are needed to identify those TCV that become RAI refractory and develop effective target therapies against these incurable carcinomas.
    Thyroid: official journal of the American Thyroid Association 10/2008; 18(11):1179-81. · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Zubair Baloch, Virginia LiVolsi
    Advances in anatomic pathology 08/2008; 15(4):248. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Chernobyl accident caused an unprecedented increase in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) incidence with a surprisingly short latency and unusual morphology. We have investigated whether unexpected features of the PTC incidence after Chernobyl were radiation specific or influenced by iodine deficiency. PTCs from children from Belarus, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation exposed to fallout from Chernobyl were compared with PTCs from children not exposed to radiation from the same countries, from England and Wales (E&W) and from Japan. The degree and type of differentiation, fibrosis, and invasion were quantified. There were no significant differences between PTCs from radiation-exposed children from Belarus, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation and PTCs from children from the same countries who were not exposed to radiation. Childhood PTCs from Japan were much more highly differentiated (p < 0.001), showed more papillary differentiation (p < 0.001) and were less invasive (p < 0.01) than "Chernobyl" tumors, while tumors from E&W generally showed intermediate levels of degree and type of differentiation and invasion. There was a marked difference between the sex ratios of children with PTCs who were radiation exposed and those who were not exposed (F:M exposed vs. unexposed 1.5:1 vs. 4.2:1; chi(2) = 7.90, p < or = 0.01005). The aggressiveness and morphological features of Chernobyl childhood PTCs are not associated with radiation exposure. The differences found between tumors from the Chernobyl area, E&W, and Japan could be influenced by many factors. We speculate that dietary iodine levels may have wide implications in radiation-induced thyroid carcinogenesis, and that iodine deficiency could increase incidence, reduce latency, and influence tumor morphology and aggressiveness.
    Thyroid 08/2008; 18(8):847-52. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored the NCI Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) State of the Science Conference on October 22-23, 2007 in Bethesda, MD. The 2-day meeting was accompanied by a permanent informational Web site and several on-line discussion periods between May 1 and December 15, 2007 (http://thyroidfna.cancer.gov). This document addresses follow-up procedures and therapeutic options for suggested diagnostic categories. Follow-up options for "nondiagnostic" and "benign" thyroid aspirates are given. The value of ultrasound examination in the follow-up of "nondiagnostic" and "benign" thyroid aspirates is discussed. Ultrasound findings requiring reaspiration or surgical resection are described as are the timing and length of clinical and ultrasonographic surveillance for cytologically "benign" nodules. Options for surgical intervention are given for the diagnostic categories of "atypical/borderline," "follicular neoplasm," "suspicious for malignancy" and "malignant" (http://thyroidfna.cancer.gov/pages/info/agenda/).
    Diagnostic Cytopathology 07/2008; 36(6):442-8. · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolactin receptor signaling can modulate proliferation, survival, motility, angiogenesis, and differentiation in breast cancer. Increased serum prolactin is associated with a significantly increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of prolactin receptor-associated signaling proteins in breast cancer vs benign breast tissue. Breast tissue microarrays representing 40 cases of benign and malignant pathologies were obtained from the Cooperative Human Tissue Network. Standard immunohistochemistry for prolactin and prolactin receptor-associated proteins was performed. Both positive regulators (c-Myb, Nek3, Vav2) and negative regulators (PIAS3, SIRP) of prolactin receptor signaling were examined. Virtual slides were created from the stained breast tissue microarrays. Labels were scored by region of interest and labeling indices incorporating percent target labeled and label intensity were created. Quantitative determinations of labels were made using the Clarient image system. The unpaired t-test was used to compare labels from benign and malignant tissues. Visual scoring data showed upregulation of Nek3 (P=0.000377), PIAS3 (P=0.000257), and prolactin (P=0.002576) in breast cancer vs normal/hyperplastic epithelium. c-Myb showed a trend toward upregulation, but this did not achieve statistical significance (P=0.107374). SIRP (P=0.002060) was downregulated. Vav2 showed a trend toward downregulation (P=0.107456), but this did not achieve statistical significance. Clarient analysis corroborated upregulation in cancer of Nek3 (P=0.000013), PIAS3 (P=0.000067), and prolactin (P=0.017569). In conclusion, regulators of prolactin receptor signaling show heterogeneity in their expression in benign vs malignant breast tissue. Since these species are known to regulate prolactin-mediated actions, these results suggest multiple targets for modulating prolactin receptor-mediated growth and differentiation in breast cancer.
    Modern Pathology 06/2008; 21(5):565-71. · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue resources have become an important component of the infrastructure of institutions as well as companies performing biomedical research. Such tissue resources may be in the model of a bank, collecting a limited type of tissues and processing and storing them following a specific protocol. Such banks or archives may be associated with a clinical study or may function indepedently. An alternative type of tissue resource is utilized by many institutions and cancer centers. In this model, the investigator specifies the methods by which selected tissues are to be collected, processed and stored. In such a "prospective model", initially developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Ohio State University in the late 1970's and adopted by the Cooperative Human Tissue Network in 1986, specific types of tissues are not collected unless requested by an investigator. At some sites, both a prospective and an archival (bank) model are followed. This article describes an informatics approach needed to support a prospective tissue resource. It is by necessity more complicated than a model which supports a tissue bank but also can be used by a tissue bank. Of great importance is the approach to vocabulary and common data elements needed to support the informatics system of a prospective tissue resource, especially if the informatics system is to be used by a variety of personnel with greatly varying educational backgrounds.
    Cancer informatics 02/2008; 6:127-37.

Publication Stats

5k Citations
945.13 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1984–2014
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2008
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • Department of Pathology
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 1989–2008
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 1979–2006
    • Yale-New Haven Hospital
      • Department of Pathology
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Pathology
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Loyola University Medical Center
      • Department of Pathology
      Maywood, IL, United States
  • 2002
    • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
      • Department of Pathology
      Syracuse, NY, United States
    • University of Auckland
      • Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
      Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2001
    • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
      • Institute of Surgical Semeiotics
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2000
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      • Department of Pathology
      Buffalo, NY, United States
  • 1999
    • Università di Pisa
      • Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
      Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
  • 1998
    • Queen Mary Hospital
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Pathology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1995
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1994
    • Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Royal Melbourne Hospital
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia