Interobserver variation in grading and staging of squamous cell carcinoma of the penis in relation to the clinical outcome

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Study Type – Diagnostic (non-consecutive) Level of Evidence 3b


To examine interobserver variations in assessing grade and stage of penile squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).


We retrospectively reviewed the pathological features and clinical outcome in 75 patients with SCC of the penis, who were treated in participating urological centres between 1996 and 2005; the assessments of the local pathologists and the review pathologists were compared.


There was conformity in tumour grade in 67% and the assessment of tumour stage conformed in 84%; the combination assessment of both grade and stage conformed in 56%.


Accurate histological subtyping by the surgical pathologist demands standardized guidelines, in particular for histological grading, which is crucial for clinical treatment, but shows significant interobserver variation.

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