Measuring the Value of Review of Pathology Material by a Second Pathologist

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Abstract

In many departments, some cases are reviewed routinely by a second pathologist within the same department before sign-out. The value of this practice is not known. We reviewed and compared the disagreement and amendment rates for cases reviewed by 1 or more pathologists based on the results of blinded review.

A total of 8,363 cases underwent blinded review, and of these, 1,087 (13.0%) were reviewed by more than 1 pathologist before sign-out. The disagreement rate for cases reviewed by more than 1 pathologist (4.8%) was significantly lower than for cases reviewed by only 1 pathologist (6.9%; P = .004). The amendment rate decreased to 0.0% from 0.5%, but this decrease was not statistically significant (P = .12).

Review of material by a second pathologist before sign-out is associated with a lower disagreement rate. These results suggest second review of surgical pathology is of value, but the best selection of cases to be reviewed remains to be defined.

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