Variation of cytopathologists' use of the indeterminate diagnostic categories "atypical" and "suspicious for malignancy" in the cytologic diagnosis of solid pancreatic lesions on endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates Journal Article


Authors: Virk, R. K.; Gamez, R.; Mehrotra, S; Atieh, M.; Barkan, G. A.; Wojcik, E. M.; Pambuccian, S. E.
Article Title: Variation of cytopathologists' use of the indeterminate diagnostic categories "atypical" and "suspicious for malignancy" in the cytologic diagnosis of solid pancreatic lesions on endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates
Abstract: Indeterminate cytologic diagnoses in endoscopic ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsy (EUS-FNA) of solid pancreatic lesions include the diagnostic categories "atypical" (ATY) and "suspicious for malignancy" (SUSP), which are used at variable rates and are associated with variable underlying risk of malignancy. The aim of this study was to determine individual cytopathologists' rates of indeterminate diagnoses in EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic lesions and their relationship to cytopathologists' experience and volume of pancreatic EUS-FNA examined, as well as the potential impact of departmental consensus review on indeterminate diagnoses. DESIGN: The diagnostic rates of ATY and SUSP and their underlying risk of malignancy were calculated for six cytopathologists who diagnosed 1,114 of 1,225 EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic lesions from 1/1/2001 to 9/15/2014, and were then compared for the periods before and after the implementation of departmental consensus review during 2009. RESULTS: The six cytopathologists diagnosed 10% of cases as indeterminate; 82 (7.4%) as "atypical" and 29 (2.6%) as "suspicious". The individual cytopathologists' indeterminate diagnosis rates varied twofold (6.67-12.80%) and did not correlate with their experience, total or annual volume of EUS-FNAs. Of the 56/99 (56.57%) cases with follow-up, the underlying rate of malignancy was 47% (35/75; for "atypical" and 87.5% (21/24); for "suspicious"). The underlying rates of malignancy were 33-67% for "atypical" and 80-100% for "suspicious" diagnoses made by individual cytopathologists. The rate of indeterminate diagnoses decreased from 11.55 to 7.88% after the implementation of departmental consensus review. CONCLUSION: Individual cytopathologists' rates of indeterminate diagnoses and their significance vary; however, consensus review is helpful in reducing these rates. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2017;45:3-13. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: Humans; Pathology; Diagnosis, Differential; Terminology as Topic; Observer Variation; pancreas; Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration; Variation; Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration/standards; Hospitals, University/statistics numerical data; Pancreatic Neoplasms/pathology; atypical; indeterminate; suspicious
Journal Title: Diagnostic cytopathology
Volume: 45
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1097-0339; 1097-0339
Publisher: Wiley Periodicals, Inc  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2017
Start Page: 3
End Page: 13
Language: eng
DOI/URL:
Notes: LR: 20170206; CI: (c) 2016; JID: 8506895; OTO: NOTNLM; 2016/03/02 [received]; 2016/08/04 [accepted]; ppublish